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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly


11 November 2013

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 8 November 2013EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 8 November 2013


Deadweight trade still subdued

In week ended 2 November, the deadweight trade showed no signs of strengthening, although reports suggest that some processors maintained prices at the previous week’s level. With young bulls up in price, heifers down and steers level, the all prime average was unchanged on the week at 388.2p/kg. The cow market remained under pressure, with prices for the plainest cows, which are reported to be in plentiful supply, struggling the most. The continued availability of Polish bull beef on the wholesale market across the continent continues to have an impact. The overall cow average was back another 6p on the week to 216.2p/kg and is now back 65p since its peak in the year so far in early July.

Liveweight trade shows signs of seasonal uplift?

In contrast to the deadweight trade, the latest prices at GB auction markets are more positive, possibly demonstrating some evidence of a seasonal uplift. In week ended 6 November, firmer demand at auction and tighter supplies has supported an increase in prices, with the all prime cattle average up 4p on the week at 198.6p/kg.

Producer share of the final retail price eases since the summer

In October, with both farm gate beef prices and average retail prices levelling on the month, the price spread between the producer and the retailer was unchanged, compared with the month before. Producers received, on average, 57% of the final retail price during the month, just a fraction less than in August and September. However, as farmgate prices have increased to a greater extent than retail prices since the turn of the year, the latest figure is over one percentage point more than in January. However, this does represent a fall since the early summer, when farmgate prices were strengthening and producers received just below 60% of the final retail price.

This latest figure is also a higher share than producers were receiving a year earlier, when it was 54%. For the coming months the possibility of robust prices, on the back of seasonal (Christmas) demand, could mean that the producer share increases.

DEFRA report lower farm incomes in England

According to DEFRA, farm incomes in England fell across most farm types in 2012/13. This was largely as a result of the effect of the poor growing season and harvest. With lower outputs, higher costs and a fall in the real value of single farm payments, the impact was felt across both the cropping and livestock sectors. Further information can be obtained on the EBLEX website.

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