Festive demand lifts steers and lambs 10p/kg

Cattle and prime lamb prices continued to firm last week, with the SQQ up to 183p/kg and prime steers at 208p/kg, both about 10p/kg dearer than at the end of November.

Prime bulls have stagnated around the 180p/kg mark, but heifers, like steers, have lifted 10p/kg in the live markets, rising to 218p/kg, with Christmas sales helping to lift trade.

However, deadweight prices are continuing a fall that began in late September, with reports suggesting backlogs at abattoirs. Steers averaged 356p/kg as December began, although indications are that this has fallen further.

See also: Christmas sales bring primestock lift

Market Drayton

Market Drayton’s supreme cattle championship went to Shaun Daly last week (5 December), with a Charolais steer making 460p/kg (£2,668) when selling to butcher Dave Jones, Wrexham.

Champion bull went to a 744kg Limousin from Edward Evans, Halfway House, selling for 224p/kg (£1,666).

More than 300 show lambs rose to a top of £195.04 for the champion entry from Sarah Jones, Tynewydd, with her pen of 42.4kg lambs making 460p/kg. Buyer was Rob Stafford, RG Stafford.

Darlington

A trio of Beltex lambs from George Dent, Cockfield, took Darlington’s prime lamb championship at its Christmas sale last week (6 December). Local butcher A Mulholland, Covered Market, paid 395p/kg (£170).

Quantity was back on the week but quality was up at Darlington, with 1,196 head hitting a SQQ of 195p/kg, up 16.9p/kg on the week, according to AHDB Beef & Lamb figures.

However, prime cattle prices were more mixed, with steers back 13.2p/kg overall to 207.5p/kg, while 81 heifers made 225.3p/kg, up 0.8p/kg on the week. 

A Limousin bull from AG Watson and Sons, Nunstainton Grange, made 214p/kg (£1,540), selling to JA Jewitt, Spennymoor. A British Blue from D Richardson and Co, Bracken House, made £1,614, selling to R Pearson.