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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly


30 September 2013

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 27 September 2013EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 27 September 2013


Cattle trade edges up as supply and demand well balanced

In week ended 21 September, the GB all prime cattle indicator increased over 3p on the week to average 394.7p/kg. Having edged back over the 400p/kg threshold in the first week of the month, the price of R4L steers strengthened over a penny on the week to average 403.8p/kg, while R4L heifers moved up another 3p to reach 400.9p/kg. Following the buoyant trade in recent weeks, reports suggest that processors have opted for a more cautious approach to procurement as supply and demand appeared to be finely balanced. At GB auction marts trade has been flat this week with the all cattle average price back on the week each day so far. However, as the season progresses, values may be supported as cattle availability is likely to be below processors’ requirements.

Deadweight cow prices eased again this week, mainly due to increased numbers of cows coming forward on the week, ahead of housing, and slower orders from European buyers. Cows graded -O4L were back 3p week on week to 269.7p.kg.

Lower production impacts on exports

The latest HMRC trade data for July has been published and is available on the EBLEX website. With robust domestic demand, tight cow beef supplies and high prices, beef and veal exports in July were down 19% year on year. Shipments to Ireland and the Netherlands were both back significantly as the impact of the horse meat revelations continued affect on trade patterns. Elsewhere in the EU, exports to France performed strongly on the back of a significant uplift in frozen shipments. With an 18% increase in the unit price offsetting the lower volumes to some extent, the value of exports in July was just 4% back on the year at £29 million.

Imports were up 5% year on year, only the second month since the horsemeat revelations in which they were higher compared with a year earlier. Volumes from Ireland were lower than in May and June but still 7% up on the year, due to increased Irish production. It is likely that imports from Ireland will have remained high into August and September.

Global beef export prices edging down as volumes increase

In the second quarter of 2013 the global export price of chilled and frozen beef fell to be lower on the year. Most major exporters, except the EU, reported increases in volumes compared with April-June 2012 and the fall in the global export price reflects the easing of prices in most principal exporters, with the exception of the United States. The depreciation of the currencies of other exporters relative to the US dollar through 2013 has been a factor in lowering prices, as has increasing export availability. Australia and Brazil remained the two largest exporters, with Australia shipping 100,000 tonnes in May, the highest figure for at least 10 years. More details of developments on other markets are available on the EBLEX website.

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