Opposite price development for premium cattle and cull cows

Dead cattle prices in Britain continued the steady upward trend seen throughout September, after falling prices in July and August. In the 4 weeks ending October 29, the price of prime cattle averaged 440.2 pence/kg, up 3.3 pence (0.7%) from the previous 4 month period. weeks.

Prices rose every week, peaking at 441.7p/kg the week of 29 October. It was almost 33p above the same week last year, and more than 78p above the five-year average for the week. In the average of all premium cattle, young bulls saw their price fall, averaging 426.4p/kg for the period, down 0.8p from the previous four weeks. However, heifer and steer prices firmed up, up 3.2p (0.7%) and 3.5p (0.8%) respectively from the previous four-week average. This brought the average price for the period to 439.4p/kg for heifers and 442.3p/kg for steers, regaining some of the ground lost in July and August.

The estimated number of cattle killed in Britain rose in the 4 weeks to October 29 to a total of 125,400 head, 3.8% (4,600 head) more than the same period l last year. Although up from last year, flows are below the five-year average, a trend that has been present since the beginning of August. Flows were relatively stable from week to week throughout the period. The week ending October 15 saw the highest slaughter at 32,000 head, while the remaining three weeks saw around 31,000 head processed per week.

Cull cow prices, while still well above the 5-year average, continued the steady decline first seen in July. In the 4 weeks to 29 October, overall cull cow prices averaged 341.4 pence/kg, down 3 pence (0.9%) from the previous 4 week average. With prices decreasing each week, the price for the last week was back 7.4 pence (2.1%) from the start of the period.

Cull cow slaughter was estimated at 55,300 head for the 4-week period ending October 29, up 5,600 head (11.3%) from the same period last year. Flows increased week by week, peaking at 14,100 head in week four, the highest level seen so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, throughput is estimated at 445,400 heads, or 5,200 heads (1.2%) more than last year, while remaining 13,200 heads (2.9%) below the 5-year average.