Wednesday, 03 February, 1999

By FWi staff

FINSHED cattle continued to score better prices at markets in England and Wales this week, reversing the seasonal trend over the past two years.

Values inched up to average 91.43p/kg – an increase of about 4p on the week.

Cattle were in short supply and the trade was good, said auctioneer Bill Abbott of Winslow market, Buckinghamshire.

Supply was down by as much as 30% which helped values rise by 2p/kg at the market on Monday.

“In the last couple of years prices fell every day following Christmas, but this year they rose at the Christmas shows and have continued every week since,” Said Mr Abbott.

He put the shortage of numbers down to the large number of steers in retention, putting a seasonal shortage on numbers.

But these could come on to the market at the end of the month, and a rush of cattle could ease prices, he warned.

“Things are buoyant,” said Mr Abbott. “Dare we say that we might have turned the corner.”

At Mold market, Flintshire prices were similar to last week, said auctioneer David Lewis.

Cattle are short in numbers, which is the general consensus as to why prices are firm, said Mr Lewis.

But on Monday there was a certain amount of caution due to the Meat Hygiene inspectors strike, he said. “The only problem we had was that we had to lairage some of the cattle.”