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AHDB Pig Market Weekly

21 May 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 18 May 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 18 May 2012

In week ended 12 May deadweight prime cattle prices eased for a second consecutive week.


Cattle market trends


While supplies still appear to be comparatively tight they are running slightly ahead of consumer demand. This is adding pressure to prices and pushing them lower. R4L steers dropped a penny to 344.8p per kg, while R3 young bulls fell slightly to 330.9p per kg. R4L heifers eased almost two pence to 342.5p per kg. Cull cow values also edged lower with the latest overall price down almost three pence on the week at 264.4p per kg. The price of –O4L graded cattle was up over a penny at 279.9p per kg however.

Liveweight prices in week ended 16 May continued to fall with the overall prime cattle price falling almost two pence to 183.9p per kg. Unlike in the previous seven days prices for all classes of cattle fell in the latest period. Steer prices fell the least being down by less than half a penny at 184.7p per kg heifer prices fell by over a penny to 189.1p per kg, while young bull values dropped four pence to 175.3p per kg. The number of cattle forward this week was up 11 per cent as the previous week included the bank holiday which disrupted trading to some degree.


UK exports of beef during March were down 18 per cent at 10,300 tonnes. The continued decline in exports is being driven by two factors. Firstly lower domestic production is limiting the volume available for export. Secondly there has been a considerable decline in EU exports of beef to third country trading partners. This has resulted in less beef being required on the continent. The majority of markets recorded lower shipments with the exception of Ireland, Italy and Spain.

These figures take total exports for the first quarter to 28,600 tonnes, a decline of 16 per cent on 2011 levels.

Imports for the month of March were up six per cent at 20,600 tonnes. Much of this increase came from other EU Member States. There was a two per cent increase in volumes from Ireland along with considerable increases in shipments from the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. From outside of the EU there were still very limited volumes, with Namibia, Brazil and Chile the only countries to record increases.

This takes the full quarter volume of imports to 57,400 tonnes, an increase of seven per cent year on year.

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