Last year was a “rollercoaster” year for the UK beef industry, according to latest figures from AHDB, with a combination of factors driving prices including supplies, competitiveness and consumer demand.
The year started with prices well below the previous year and by April, at around 325p/kg, the R4L steer average had fallen 5% since the turn of the year, and was 25p/kg down on the year earlier position.
After the referendum in the summer, tighter supplies, particularly from Ireland helped improve trade.
See also: Beef specification advice
From May until September the R4L steer average moved up well over 10% from the low point of the year, to average almost 370p/kg.
This meant it was almost 10p ahead on the year earlier position and just about on par with the previous five-year average for that time of the year. Stability characterised the final quarter of the year.
Key figures and cattle numbers from AHDB for the UK beef industry last year: