TheBeefSite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

News

LMC:Surge In GB Farmgate Prices Since July/August

22 September 2011

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Farmers have enjoyed strong increases in beef prices over recent weeks and in Scotland the U3 steer price reached 342p/kg in the week ending 10 September. The average U3 steer and heifer price across GB is now 335p/kg.

Even in Southern England, where prices typically lag behind the rest of GB, U3 steer prices averaged 330p/kg in the first full week of September.

R3 Steer Prices

Figure 1 plots R3 steer prices across the British Isles over the course of the year to date. It shows prices for Scotland and Southern England, the two regions which typically have the highest and lowest cattle prices in GB.

It also shows average GB, NI and ROI prices. The chart clearly illustrates an improving trade in GB.

The figures show that there has been a steady rise in Scottish R3 steer prices since the spring. While there was a lull in English prices early in the summer, prices there have also risen steadily since June / July, with a veritable surge in English farmgate prices during August.

The figures for the week ending 10 September 2011 show a North / South split when it comes to R3 steer prices across the Great Britain.

Scottish R3 steer prices averaged 336p/kg the week before last. Northern England prices were 4p/kg lower at 332p/kg, while in the English Midlands and Wales prices were a further 5p/kg back at 327p/kg.

Southern England prices were lower again at 324p/kg. While English R3 steer prices have surged ahead during August, Figure 1 shows how NI prices have remained fairly steady during that period. In ROI, R3 steer prices have declined during August/ September.

The latest reported prices show that in NI, R3 steer prices averaged 312p/kg in the week before last, 12p/kg lower than corresponding prices in Southern England; 24p/kg lower than corresponding Scottish prices.

Prices in ROI were 9p/kg lower than NI levels; 33p/kg lower than Scottish levels.

The trends in R4 steer and R3 heifer prices have been broadly similar, with prices generally steady in Ireland, while the trade in GB has been much stronger recently.

One explanation for these regional trends in prime cattle prices may be supply. NI supplies appear to have improved somewhat in August having been much tighter back in the spring and early part of summer.

However, the expectation is that GB supplies which were much stronger earlier in the year have now peaked. Any decline will have contributed to the upward pressure on prices.

Cow Prices

Figure 2 shows trends in cull cow prices across the UK for the year to date (average cow prices are not available from ROI).

Again Figure 2 picks out Scotland and Southern England for analysis. These are generally the areas with the highest and lowest performing cull cow prices.

Figure 2 also shows average GB and NI cow prices. It is clear that Scottish prices are generally much higher than the GB average, while Southern England prices have been much lower.

NI prices have been generally quite close to average GB levels over the course of the year to date. The latest weekly figures show that NI cull cow prices are 10p/kg less than the GB average.

By contrast, average Scottish cull cow prices averaged 270p/kg in the week ending 10 September. This was 16p/kg more than the GB average and probably reflects the greater prevalence of specialist beef breeds in Scotland relative to the rest of the UK.

TheCattleSite News Desk


Our Sponsors

Partners


Seasonal Picks

Animal Welfare in EPS - 5m Books