Prime cattle prices rise despite higher numbers

Liveweight cattle prices increased in the week ending 8 February, despite rising throughputs.

Prime cattle averaged 234.1p/kg at GB auction markets, up 3.1p on the previous week. Steers were up 4.9p to average 234p/kg, while heifers averaged 243.6p/kg, up 1.5p.

Young bull prices rose 3.5p to average 215.7p/kg. Throughput was marginally higher than in the previous week, up 1% to total 3,279 head.

Oliver Hiles, prime cattle auctioneer at Bakewell Market, said demand remained strong for well-finished commercial cattle.

“The first couple of weeks of 2022 were fairly strong and then we saw a levelling-out to where we are now.

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“The good-quality, well-fed cattle have remained as good a trade now as they were back in October and November, when prices were really on fire. Finished cattle in the 580-700kg weight range are in best demand,” Mr Hiles said.

Prime cattle averaged 232.7p /kg at Bakewell on Monday 7 February, with steers reaching 269p/kg and heifers topping at 275p/kg.

Mr Hiles said: “The best butchers shop cattle are undoubtedly less money, but the good, thick commercial sorts are very good to sell at present.”

Deadweight

Deadweight prices for steers and heifers fell back marginally in the week ended 5 February.

Steers dropped on the previous week by just under a penny to 406.1p/kg, while heifers were down by 0.6p to 405.3p/kg. Young bulls saw a marginal week-on-week increase, up by 0.5p to 388.9p.

Cattle throughputs at abattoirs have been increasing in recent weeks, but remain behind last year’s levels for this time of year.

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