Beef trade holds strong with support at auction marts

Tighter supplies of prime cattle and some early festive demand reported among industry from butchers and abattoirs have been supporting both liveweight and deadweight prices.

Finished cattle prices in the live ring have ticked up again during the past week, with total prime cattle up by 2p/kg on the week to average 261.5p/kg.

GB liveweight steers averaged 261.4p/kg for the week ending 14 November, while heifers averaged 266.8p/kg.

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Supply has been tightening with 9% fewer prime cattle coming forward in the past week at auction marts.

At Gisburn Auction Marts on 9 November, steers averaged 279p/kg, with prices topping at £2,222 a head.

Gisburn auctioneer Jack Pickup said top retail cattle easily flew through the 300p/kg barrier and sold to a ringside full of buyers. More commercial-grade types were selling anywhere from 250p/kg to 270p/kg.

Trade at Bakewell Market on 13 November was also up with steers at 271.8p/kg and heifers at 281.9p/kg.


Steers, heifers and young bulls have all made price gains at abattoirs in the past week after a period of relative stability during October.

GB deadweight steers increased by 2p/kg on the week to 481.7p/kg for the week ending 11 November, and remain 37p/kg higher than in the same week last year, while heifers increased marginally on the week to 474.9p/kg.

Estimated weekly throughput at abattoirs has dropped back minimally in recent weeks.

Livestock marketing group Meadow Quality said trade and demand had been steady with no major excitement for prices, but abattoirs were constantly looking for supplies.