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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly


27 July 2015

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 27 July 2015AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 27 July 2015


Uplift in cattle prices slows down

In week ended 18 July, while deadweight cattle prices moved up again, it was to a much less significant degree than over the past few weeks. With reports that the balance in the trade last week was much more finely matched than it has been throughout June and July so far, the GB all prime average was up 1p on the week earlier, at 354.8p/kg. Steers meeting target specification strengthened a penny on the week to average 366.2p/kg, while R4L heifers were up 2p at 365.0p/kg. R3 young bulls were 3p dearer at 348.3p/kg.

At 30,800 head, AHDB estimates suggest that numbers coming forward were behind the week earlier, steers back 200 head, heifers 700 and young bulls 400. With the indications of a more balanced trade, it is possible that producers with cattle ready to sell have been satisfied with prices on offer. This may well be a reflection of the time of the year, with harvest having started and producers’ attention drawn to other on-farm activities.

Looking ahead, while the demand side of the equation is clearly critical to domestic price developments, equally so is the forecast for supplies. The latest forecasts for the UK will be published next week and are expected to show a tight supply position in the second half of this year. Current indications for production in Ireland are similar, despite a surprisingly healthy supply of cattle coming forward in recent weeks.

In the latest week, the cow trade eased. At 253.9p/kg, the -O4L average cow price was back 5p on the week despite reports suggesting that robust demand persists for the heavier well fleshed cows. The strengthening value of Sterling may well have had an impact on the trade given the commodity nature of the cow trade on the continent. At the end of last week, the pound reached its strongest level against the Euro for nearly eight years.

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