Seasonal shortage boosts deadweight pricing

Thursday, 09 June, 1999

By FWi staff

DEADWEIGHT cattle prices are expected to rise between 5-6p/kg in the coming weeks on the back of a seasonal shortage.

Values have already risen 2p/kg over the past week and are expected to climb further, said Bob White from meat processors, Anglo Beef Producers.

But if prices get too dear supermarkets could turn to imports, added Mr White.

Theres a lot of Irish cattle about and they wont be able to resist them, he warned.

Mr White expects the price increase to last up to four weeks before more grass-fed cattle start to come forward and values fall back.

But any fall might not be as dramatic as last season, he said.

Cattle prices last year suffered from a general oversupply in the market and the knock-on effects of the economic crisis in Russia.

There is no such oversupply so far this year and demand appears to be comparatively buoyant, as reflected at livestock auctions.

At almost 95p/kg, liveweight prices are currently running 10p/kg ahead of this time last year.

Livestock market prices have remained stable over the past couple of months leaving some auctioneers confident that values could rise even further.

Senior economic analyst at the Meat and Livestock Commission, Duncan Sinclair, agreed that this could well be the case.

These [prices] could improve over the next few weeks if demand continues with lower numbers, he said.

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