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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

14 September 2015

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 14 September 2015AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 14 September 2015

Cattle trade moves up

Following a short steady period the cattle trade has moved up in the latest week.

The balance between supply and demand has favoured finishers, in particular, as the shorter bank holiday week has had an impact on supplies coming forward – estimated to be back over 2,000 head on the week earlier.

Reports suggest that large processors have been more active in the market on the back of improving demand as the weather has cooled. For another week they have been looking for more cattle than they have done through much of the summer. Consequently, finding a home for cattle outside supermarket specification has reportedly been easier.

In week ending 5 September the GB prime cattle average price was up 3p on the week to 347.7p/kg, the most significant week-on-week price rise since early July. Steers and heifers meeting R4L classification were both up 2p at 359.4p/kg and 357.8p/kg respectively while R3 Young bulls strengthened 3p to reach 339.9p/kg.

Cull cow prices firmed on the back of improved demand for manufacturing beef despite the strong pound against the euro continuing to make exports challenging. As with the prime cattle trade, processors are looking for higher numbers. Cows meeting -O4L specification moved up 2p on the week to 235.0p/kg. Compounding the improved market last week this means cows have regained the ground they lost throughout August.

Downward trend returns to liveweight lamb trade

There were falls seen in the liveweight lamb trade this week.

In the week ended 9 September the GB SQQ fell by 2p on the week to 152.9p/kg. However, sharper falls at this time last year have meant that the weekly average price has just edged above last year’s. This is the first time since April that the weekly SQQ has been above last year’s level. Despite this, sharp falls were seen towards the end of the week, with the GB SQQ on Wednesday 9 September down by 13p on the week at 146.4p/kg.

It appears the higher prices last week have encouraged producers to bring more lambs to market as the number of lambs sold at GB auction markets increased. Numbers were up by 33 per cent on the previous bank holiday week and were almost 50 per cent higher than the same week in 2014. This appears to be the main driver behind the price fall as the strengthening euro and the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha (September 23) should still be contributing positively to demand for UK lamb. The percentage of lambs falling within the SQQ weight band remained at 76 per cent.

The deadweight market followed the trend seen in last week’s liveweight market and increased. In the week ended 5 September the GB dw SQQ increased by 11p to 342.7p/kg, this reduced the difference compared to 2014 to 27p. As well as the currency factors and the approaching Eid festival a 20 per cent fall in numbers in the deadweight sample, a reflection of the shorter bank holiday week, will also have helped to increase prices.


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