Prime beef price in Britain rises to almost €4.20/kg

The beef trade in the UK moved up across the board last week as the balance between supply and demand continues to be more favourable for producers across the water.

Reports from the AHDB are suggesting that retail demand is faring a little better on the back of bursts of sunshine and movements of sterling against the euro.

Cattle were placed easily as processor requirements for cattle meeting supermarket specification in particular continued to be robust, it says.

In addition, IFA Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said the Sterling exchange has strengthened considerably.

“Since the Brexit result, UK cattle prices have risen 7p/kg and the exchange has strengthened from 87p back to 83.5p/€. The UK R3 steer price for week ending July 9 was at £3.39/kg, which is equivalent to €4.27/kg including VAT.

Angus Woods pointed out that taking account of the increase in the UK prices and the exchange rate adjustments, UK beef prices have only come back by the equivalent of 15c/kg since Brexit. However, he said the factories in Ireland are trying to impose as much as a 30c/kg cut at farm level on the back of this.

The AHDB says that 30,400 prime cattle were processed in the latest week, 700 head down on the week earlier, with all of the drop attributed to lower steer throughputs.

Prices

  • Steers and heifers meeting R4L classification both moved up another 2p to average 341.3p/kg and 340.9p/kg, respectively.
  • R3 young bulls also strengthened 2p on the week to reach 327.4p/kg.
  • Across the board, these recent price rises mean that average prices have moved up over 15p/kg during the past eight weeks or so.

Cow Trade

Cull cow prices increased again despite estimates suggesting that numbers coming forward remained high, according to the AHDB. It says the trade is benefiting from the sterling/euro relationship and higher prime cattle prices.

At 10,500 head, throughputs were estimated to be up 400 head on the week and 20% up on the year. This is the fourth week in a row that estimates indicate that a double-digit year-on-year uplift has been apparent.

Overall, cows averaged 213.1p/kg, up 2p on the week while those meeting -O4L specification were up a penny at 236.4p/kg.