British mart prices up as much as €180/head since June

Following an increase in prices at UK factories since the late summer, the finished cattle trade at British marts has moved in a similar direction with prices up by as much as €180 for some stock, according to EBLEX.

The UK Livestock Marketing Board says in November, all prime average mart prices reached its highest monthly average since January at €237.4c/kg (187.5p/kg), having increased over 19c/kg (15p/kg) since the low point of the year in June. Steers have moved up 16c/kg (13p) over the five-month period, while heifers are 12c/kg (10p) dearer.

EBLEX the strengthening in young bull prices is particularly notable. Having been subjected to particularly stringent penalties earlier in the year, the average in November was up 17p since June.

It also cites that these firmer market conditions have not been limited to the finished trade.

At autumn store cattle sales demand was particularly robust, despite a good supply of beef cattle coming forward, according to EBLEX reports.

It says the combination of cheaper feed and the long-term tight supply situation may have given finishers some confidence.

EBLEX outline that Hereford cross 18-month-old steers averaged €1,018 (£804) per head in October, up over €69 (£55) since June and dearer than at the same time last year.

Continentals of the same age have moved up €180 (£145) over the same period, to average €1,228 (£970) per head, although they are still modestly cheaper than last autumn.

Despite the difficult market conditions this year, EBLEX says the expectation for finished prices into 2015 and beyond is still firm.

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