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Beef and lamb markets are strong, for now

Tight supplies are supporting beef prices, but increases may be limited by poor processor returns.

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Beef and lamb markets are strong, for now

Average deadweight prices remained about 360p/kg for the fifth week running in the week to July 18, according to AHDB figures.

 

Prices have been 30p/kg more in July than last July and 10p/kg above the five-year average.

 

The premium in the auction ring was even greater, with steers averaging 202p/kg in the week to 18 July, 11.4 per cent more than in the corresponding week last year, with cow prices particularly strong.

 

In the early part of the coronavirus crisis cattle slaughterings were generally down on last year but they sped up from May onwards.

 

Since the beginning of March 890,860 GB cattle have been slaughtered according to AHDB estimates.


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Throughput

 

That is 2.1 per cent more than in the same 21 weeks last year. However, in the four weeks to July 18 throughput was up 7.4 per cent.

 

AHDB analyst Rebecca Wright said industry reports suggested the number of cattle available for slaughter in the next few weeks is low in both Britain and Ireland, which should support prices.

 

However, very tight processors margins due to low fifth quarter prices and hide values could limit price gains.

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