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Cattle Prices Still Behind Last Year's Levels

25 July 2016

SCOTLAND, UK - Prime cattle prices have been enjoying some seasonal strength over the past month but are still behind the prices seen one year ago, according to the latest market information from Quality Meat Scotland.

“Interestingly, the current rise in prime stock prices has occurred despite the June prime stock kill being higher than last year - around 2.5 per cent in Scotland and by even more in the UK as a whole - and despite a fall in carcase weight and increase in prime beef availability,” said Stuart Ashworth, QMS Head of Economics Services.

According to Mr Ashworth, some of the increase in average prices is likely to be due to a greater proportion of carcases falling within the preferred carcase weight range.

Meanwhile the weekly kill of steers and heifers increased during June, a time when normally they are falling.

Looking at carcase weights, Mr Ashworth observed that they often peak in July and August and then fall as a “new crop” of eighteen month old spring-calved stock begin to reach the market in the autumn.

Earlier marketing to better meet carcase weight criteria could result in a short term tightening of supply in July and August before slaughter numbers pick up as this “new crop” of cattle from Spring 2015, when Scottish calf registrations were almost 1 per cent higher than spring 2014, begin to reach the market.

However, by continuing to responding to the clear market signals in respect of carcase size, this increase in prime cattle numbers does not necessarily mean an increase in prime beef availability.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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