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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly


26 August 2013

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 23 August 2013EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 23 August 2013


Cattle prices still subdued

In week ended 17 August, the continuing retail trends during the holiday season meant deadweight cattle prices remained under pressure, albeit slightly less than in the previous week. The GB all prime indicator eased back 2p on the week to 381.9p/kg. AHDB/EBLEX estimates suggest that numbers forward remain tight, even against subdued demand; harvest work may be taking priority for many producers.

GB R4L deadweight steer price

Cull cow prices also eased again but, as with prime cattle, to a lesser extent than in the previous few weeks as the end to the traditional holiday season across the continent is only a couple of weeks away. With lower cereal prices offering the opportunity for some producers to be able to retain cows on finishing rations, it is likely that the already tight supply of cows may be accentuated further during the autumn, possibly offering support to prices.

Latest livestock market prices are more positive. In week ended 21 August, the all prime cattle average was stable at 205.4p/kg. Heifers and young bulls increased in price, while steer prices edged downwards.

Beef and veal shipments from Ireland up for the first time this year

The latest HMRC trade data has been published and is available on the EBLEX website. In recent months, demand for product closely linked with the horse meat revelations has had an impact on import volumes. However, in June, imports were up 12% on the year, with shipments of fresh/chilled and frozen product both significantly higher. The forecast increase in shipments from Ireland finally became evident, with a 4% rise in production during the month contributing to a near 25% uplift in trade to the UK.

Robust domestic demand and lower cow beef supplies translated into a 3% decline in beef and veal exports. Shipments to Ireland were modestly higher on the year, bucking the trend of recent months. A review of the half year trade position is available now on the EBLEX website.

Change in UK beef import volumes 2013/12

Further analysis of the UK trading position will be available in the August edition of the Cattle and Sheep Update published next week. For subscriptions please email redmeatmi@ahdb.org.uk.

EU HQB allocation in 2012/13

Import licences issued for the EU’s High Quality Beef (HQB) quota in 2012/13 were 8%, or 3,000 tonnes, higher than in the previous year. Despite this uplift, some of the major beef producing countries failed to utilise their full allocation and, as a result, from July 2012 to June 2013 the exporting countries have hit just 62% of the full EU allocation of 67,250 tonnes. Further analysis is available on the EBLEX website.

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