Rouble and sheep crisis blamed for steer price drop

By FWi Staff

FINISHED cattle prices were down again this week, despite a drop in throughput, with steers taking the largest fall.

Light steers took the heaviest drop of the week, down 6.01p at 78.36p/kg, while medium steers only took a slight fall at 78.36p/kg. Heavy steers eased slightly falling 2p to 83.01p/kg.

The throughput of heifers plummeted 59% at markets on Monday with prices following the general downward trend. Light steers suffered most heavily, falling 5.11p to 82.46p/kg.

Lesley Green from the Meat and Livestock Commission blamed this latest fall on the crisis in the sheep market. “Livestock prices are generally weak at present and cattle markets are bound to experience a knoc-on effect.”

The devaluation of the Russian Rouble has also been blamed for the current fall in cattle prices. “Russia was the single largest importer of EU beef in 1997 and recent developments out there are bound to have a depressing effect on the cattle market over here. The effect will be psychological if not physical,” said Ms Green.

Medium bulls took the heaviest slump in prices, falling 4.39p to 85.70p/kg, and the MLC reported total bull throughput down 50% earlier this week.

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