Store and calf prices firm on strong demand

Store cattle and rearing calf prices continue to strengthen, with two-year-old Continental cross steers breaking the £1,000 barrier in the week to 1 February.

Older beef bred steers were consistently into four figures at auction, while older Hereford male cattle were averaging £900 a head, said a report by AHDB Meat Services. “Dairy yearling steers almost reached £500 a head and two-year-old dairy steers averaged £730 a head.”

Store cattle supplies were particularly tight in the final three months of 2011, when black-and-white yearling steers averaged about £400 a head – £120 more than a year earlier. “Yearling Continental cross steers increased by £150 to average £750 while two-year-old Continental steers were over £200 dearer than in the fourth quarter of 2010, at £950 a head.” Heifer values were up by a similar amount, with yearling Continental crosses averaging £625 and 18-month-old crosses £790.

“The rearing calf market was stronger than ever in the final quarter of 2011. Averaging £240 a head at auction, Continental cross bull calf prices were nearly £60 dearer than in the same period in 2010.”

Read more market reports on our Prices and Trends page.

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