Prime cattle prices on the up in tough farm markets

Recovering prime cattle prices are proving a bright spot in depressed agricultural markets.

This week the British all-prime British average rose 4p/kg to 353.3p/kg.

Prices have broken the 350p/kg barrier for the first time since late March, as markets slid over the first part of the year.

See also: Farmers Weekly markets and trends

AHDB Beef and Lamb’s weekly report said prices had now strengthened almost 30p/kg in the past two months.

Throughputs were up on the week and ahead of 2014 levels, which suggests a little more demand from processors.

“It is worth remembering that prices were at a particularly low level earlier in the year,” the report said.

“However, they have moved to be well above the five-year average in only a matter of weeks.”

Auction market returns are proving positive too.

The all-steers liveweight average jumped 1.5p/kg to 192p/kg in the week to 14 July.

Rising prices came despite cattle throughputs rising 8% to 4,487 head.

Latest trade figures show the strong pound has not caused a surge in beef imports.

Shipments in the UK in May were up just 670t on the year at 20,500t.

Imports from Ireland, the UK’s main foreign supplier, were 350t lower than 2014 levels.


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