Firmer liveweight finished cattle trade

Prime cattle prices are beginning to show signs of seasonal uplift, albeit later than expected, with live auction values rising by 6.7p/kg in the week to 3 December.

Overall prime averages levelled at 206.8p/kg, with all steers rising by 6.1p to 200.5p/kg, heifers up by 9p to 219p/kg, and young bulls rising by 2p to 184.5p/kg. Overall, throughputs fell marginally to 5,728 head.

However, deadweight trade remained flat, with the all-steer average gaining just 0.6p/kg in the week to 30 November, to 392.8p/kg. Heifer averages rose by 0.3p, to 389.7p/kg, while young bull prices increased by 2.9p, to 358p/kg.

According to a report by EBLEX, processors were carrying adequate stocks, which was why trade remained slow. Cull cow values continued their downward trend, with the all-cow average dropping from 208.4p to 207.9p/kg deadweight. “The cull cow trade is unlikely to show any strengthening until the New Year, when consumers’ attention is drawn back to fresh mince,” said the report.

Prime cattle slaughterings in October fell by 1% on the year, to 196,000 head, with steer throughputs down by 5%, heifers up 3% and cull cows down by 15%.

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