Cattle prices continue to slide in the New Year

In the week ending 12 January, cattle trade took a downwards turn nearly across the board. The GB deadweight all price average slipped by 2.5p, to stand at 349.9p/kg. The measure stands almost 11p below year earlier levels and nearly 7p behind the five year average.

Estimated prime cattle slaughterings lifted significantly on the week, by 10,600 head, as production ramps up following the festive period. At 32,800 head, throughputs were almost 3% higher than year earlier levels.

Overall steer prices fell by over 1p, while those meeting the R4L specification recording a similar decline on the week, to average 363.7p/kg. This was over 11p below year earlier levels and over 5p below the five-year average. Meanwhile, heifer prices recorded a larger loss on the week, at 2.4p to stand at 352.7p/kg.

The overall cow price in the week ended 12 January slipped by 1.8p, recorded at 207.5p/kg. This places the measure over 30p below previous year levels. However, cows meeting the –O4L specification actually increased by nearly 3p on the week, 228.4p/kg, with industry reports of a couple of processors lifting prices to draw out cattle. Estimated cull cow slaughterings stood at 12,500 head, a marginal increase of 2% (300 head) year-on-year.