UK beef prices up almost 50c/kg since April

Prime beef prices were up again in the UK last week, according to latest reports from AHDB.

However, it says the uplift in the market was less robust than the week-on-week price rises over the past few weeks.

Nevertheless, AHDB says the continuation of a supply/demand balance that is in producers’ favour has once again driven the trade.

It says given the shorter working week as a result of the bank holiday, at 30,800 head, AHDB estimates suggest that numbers were back over 3,000 on the week earlier.

Reports suggest that UK processors were robustly in the market for all types of cattle, particularly those meeting required specification. At 350.0p/kg the British all-prime average was up a penny on the week earlier.

This represents the smallest week-on-week uplift in the past month or so, but still contributes to the 40p/kg (47c/kg) strengthening in the measure since last April.


  • Steers meeting R4L specification moved up 2p on the week to average 364.2p/kg (431c/kg)
  • R4L heifers of the same specification were 3p dearer at 362.7p/kg (429c/kg)
  • R3 young bulls were up a penny at 346.3p/kg(409c/kg)

AHDB says with the school holidays over, household shopping habits change. It says given the fact that the trade is on the cusp of a change in the season, when evenings start to become shorter, and reports suggest that chill rooms have plenty of space to fill, the balance in the trade would suggest a favourable short-term outlook for producers.

However, it also says that on the flip side, to some extent much depends on the ability of processors to pass higher prices through to their customers, which appears to have been a challenge over the summer.


Meanwhile, cull cow prices continue to be firm on the back of the continued good demand for manufacturing beef, despite the Euro coming back slightly. At 217.1p/kg (257c/kg) the average cow price was up 3p on the week earlier.