UK beef imports remain subdued in October - AHDB

Cattle production, slaughter rates down
calendar icon 5 January 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

UK imports of beef for October 2023 totalled 19,638t, down 7% year-on-year but up 7% since September, according to a recent market report from the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Data showed that GB prime cattle production and slaughter rates in September and October were down year-on-year, with some tightness in the domestic supply chain. This has likely further driven growth in imports to cater for seasonal demand in the tail end of the year. However, volumes remained below previous years rates, likely constrained by reduced UK consumption levels.

Credit: AHDB

Shipments from Ireland rose by 6% from September into October to 14,269t, taking the year-to-date total to 83,629t. Historical trends suggest this is a seasonal uplift to meet Christmas demand. However, volumes remained below those seen in October 2022. This came despite the price differential between Irish and GB cattle reaching its widest point during the month (Irish R3 steers averaged at a discount of 91p in the 4 weeks to 29 October). Since October, the price differential has narrowed further to 65p in the week beginning 18 December. GB cattle prices remain firm on the global market.

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