Continental store cattle prices back £50 a head

Store cattle prices are back on 2018 levels but not fully reflective of the depressed prime market, levy board data suggests.

Average prices for continental store animals have been 4.5-6.9% back on the year from the first eight months of 2019 (see table), according to AHDB figures for England and Wales.

However, prime cattle prices, which plateaued in August, have run at a greater discount, back 8-10% on the year. 

See also: Spring store trade hit by low beef values

Continental steer prices in England and Wales 2019


Average to date (Jan-Aug 2019)

Difference on year (Jan-Aug 2018)

Yearling steers



18-month steers



Two-year-old steers



Source: Livestock Auctioneers Association and AHDB


Store cattle trade has strengthened through August at Frome market, where Trevor Rowland and his team saw one of the better sales of the year last week (30 August).

An entry of 578 store cattle saw 16-month-old Angus steers and heifers to £1,000 and £895, respectively, and 13-month Charolais steers and heifers to £788 and £700.

“Everything came right on Friday,” Mr Rowland told Farmers Weekly. “We had good numbers, good quality and good enough demand.”

He said that dairy-cross cattle had been a bit more variable of late and that a bigger difference could be seen between good cattle and the rest.  

Friesian steers at 14 months had made £550, while Holstein steers had been making about £450, Mr Rowland reported.  

He suggested that forward stores were being discounted the most but added: “Demand is good for all cattle. Perhaps people are trying to buy them now before the market lifts.”


An entry of 191 stores and 121 stirks was reported at Mold last week (30 August), topped by a pen of five 22-month-old Charolais steers at £1,150.

This was closely followed by a Limousin steer the same age at £1,140, as a “pleasing show” of cattle made a solid trade, although second choice, out-of-spec cattle were slightly harder to place.

Auctioneer and valuer James Griffiths of J Bradburne Price told Farmers Weekly that excellent grass growth had kept buyers interested in store cattle, meaning stores were looking well sold when considering the current prime cattle values.

He said good suckler-bred Limousin-type bullocks were making up to £1,105 at 18 months old and the better dairy-cross steers at 8-10 months were hitting £650 and more.

Looking ahead, he said weekly throughputs were expected to build to 400-600-head through September and October.