The uplift in cattle prices of recent weeks slowed in week ended 11th May. With overall supplies still tight, demand for in-spec finished cattle remained robust. Steer and heifer values increased again on the week, albeit more slowly.
The penny uplift in steer prices edged the average over the 400p/kg threshold for the first time, following the direction of R4L steers four weeks ago. In contrast, with more young bulls coming forward for the fifth consecutive week, prices eased. Despite this, AHDB estimates suggest that in the previous fortnight prime cattle slaughterings were back 5% on year earlier levels. The GB all prime cattle indicator rose by over 1p to average 396.8p/kg.
With spring arriving, the market for beef-sired calves has firmed. Average prices for Continental-cross bull calves peaked in April last year at £275/head. In early 2013 values were comparatively subdued, but increased to average £229/head in April, up from £212 in January.