Slaugherings up, but cattle demand remains firm

Cattle prices saw an uplift in mid-October, despite increased slaughterings.

The underlying tight supply situation prevalent in the year as a whole continued to drive the upwards pressure on price, according to EBLEX.

The pre-Christmas procurement period usually sees an increase in price and there is potential for further uplift as processors attempt to source adequate supplies going into the Christmas season.

September slaughtering and production figures have now been published and, as expected, show prime cattle throughputs and production down 8% and 6% respectively on the year.

Lamb prices have increased in the past fortnight, suggesting the bottom of the trade for this year might have been reached.

“In a ‘normal’ season, as winter demand increases, prices would be expected to firm,” said EBLEX.

Demand has strengthened due to a combination of the Eid festival (26 October) and the seasonal cold-weather rise in lamb consumption.

However, despite expectations that lamb slaughtering were up in September, DEFRA statistics show throughputs down 11%.

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