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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

28 September 2015

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 28 September 2015AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 28 September 2015

Cattle trade up again

The prime cattle trade moved up across the board in week ended 19 September.
While the balance between supply and demand continues to be very fine, with the number of cattle coming forward being up on the week earlier, the positive price movement indicates that it continues to be just in producers’ favour. With reports suggesting that retail demand is faring a little better, cattle were placed easily as processor requirements were moderately improved.

Estimates suggest that 31,300 prime cattle were processed this week, 1,700 head up on the week earlier, with most of the increase attributed to higher steer throughputs. Despite this, the GB prime cattle average price was up 2p on the week at Steers meeting R4L classification moved up another penny to average 361.4p/kg, they have now moved up 5p/kg over the past four weeks. Heifers of the same spec also moved up a penny on the week to average 359.5p/kg. More notably, R3 young bulls strengthened 5p to reach 344.6p/kg, their highest price point since mid-July.

The current balance in the market still suggests that the trade towards the end of the year looks more positive, especially if there is some competition between processors as the season moves towards its transitional period between grass-fed and yarded cattle.

Cull cow prices levelled on the week earlier as numbers coming forward remained relatively high. At almost 10,000 head, throughputs were up on the year, a trend observed since early July. Overall cows averaged 213.1p/kg, up a penny, while those meeting -O4L specification were back 2p at 234.7p/kg.

Liveweight lamb trade up on the week

Following declines seen in the two previous weeks the liveweight lamb trade at GB auction markets has performed better this week.

In the week ended 23 September the GB SQQ was up by 2p on the week at 153.9p/kg. This leaves the trade 5p/kg ahead of the corresponding week in the season last year. This increase comes despite an increased number of lambs coming forward compared to the week earlier. Throughputs were up 11 per cent on the previous week and over a third higher than the same week in 2014.

Prices were probably supported by increased demand for the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha, with much of the increase coming in the later part of last week. Prices at the beginning of this week have been more subdued, but the SQQ stabilised at 152.4p/kg on Wednesday 23 September. However, despite the lower prices in the early part of this week, the SQQ has consistently been up week on week.

The deadweight trade eased in week ended 19 September following stronger prices in the two weeks previous. The SQQ fell by 4p on the week to 350.5p/kg, with estimates suggesting that throughputs were 14 per cent up on the week earlier and over 20 per cent up on the year. With prices falling against some stability at this time last year the gap between last year’s prices widened to be around 6p/kg lower. Despite this, the difference remains small compared to others seen since this season got underway.

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