- news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

AHDB Pig Market Weekly

01 June 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 1 June 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 1 June 2012

Despite the liveweight trade increasing over the same period, deadweight cattle prices in week ended 26 May continued to fall.


Cattle market trends


Despite the liveweight trade increasing over the same period, deadweight cattle prices in week ended 26 May continued to fall. R4L steer prices were down fractionally to average 342.6p per kg, R3 young bulls were also over a penny lower at 327.1p per kg. R4L heifers were down by slightly less than a penny at 340.2p per kg. –O4L cow values increased almost two pence on the week to average 278.3p per kg; however the overall cow price fell marginally to 264.5p per kg.

Continuing on from the rise in the previous week, liveweight cattle prices continued to increase in week ended 30 May. Overall the average prime cattle price was up marginally at 185.9p per kg. Steer prices increased by a penny to average 187.9p per kg, while heifer prices increased by half a penny to average 191.1p per kg. Young bull prices however dropped by over a penny, to 177.0p per kg.

Cull values were still on the rise also, with dairy bred animals increasing almost four pence to average 119.3p per kg, while beef animals increased two pence to 140.9p per kg. With throughputs down 15 per cent on the week tight supplies still seem to be driving the cull cow market.

UK holdings numbers

Figures from Agriculture in the UK indicate that in 2011 there were 60,500 holdings in the UK with beef suckler cows, a drop from 60,600 in 2010. Based on figures from the June census this indicates that the average herd increased from 27 animals in 2010 to 28 animals in 2011. If those herds with fewer than 10 cows are excluded, the average herd size in 2011 was 43 animals up from 42 in 2010.

Of the 1.67 million beef cows, as of June 2011, 457,000 head were in herds of over 100 animals spread across 2,800 holdings. In 2010 there were 443,000 head in herds over 100 animals, spread across 2,700 herds. In the other bandings, the number of herds with between 20 and 100 animals increased with a greater proportion of animals being kept in these herds. The number of holdings with fewer than 20 cows fell from 36,000 to 35,400.

Overall there were 86,200 holdings with cattle or calves in the UK down from 87,500 in 2010. This was driven by a fall in the number of holdings with dairy cattle which fell from 23,700 in 2010 to 22,600 in 2011.

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