General beef prices have also increased but big changes in averages are down to Christmas sales and shows
Christmas fatstock shows have provided a big boost to average Christmas prices, but general beef prices have also increased, according to Chris Dodds, executive secretary at the Livestock Auctioneers Association.
Prices increased by 12p/kg across UK auction marts last week, with steers seeing the biggest rise of 17.41p/kg.
Mr Dodds said: "Generally, it has increased, but any big changes are down to shows and sales.
"Some show cattle can make an awful lot more.
"Once you finish the Christmas sales, prices will look like there has been a big drop in paper."
Mr Dodds said general price increases were down to seasonal trends and supply and demand had been ’no tighter’.
Chris Armstrong, auctioneer at Hexham mart, said store cattle prices had seen a steady increase since mid-November.
He said: "Certainly in the last two to three weeks there has been quite a big increase.
"Numbers have tightened up.
"We have seen some new faces, and many returning faces to the ringside."
Other industry commentators suggested price increases were due to farmers receiving their Basic Payment Scheme payments and having money in their pocket to buy store cattle.
Mr Armstrong said bullocks had seen an increase and heifers had seen good prices throughout the year.
He said: "The deadweight ceiling is not a concern with heifers. Store cattle purchasers are wary with bullocks."
Mr Armstrong added many farmers had become ’more savvy’ about when they were selling their cattle, with farmers who had previously sold about 40-60 cattle at one spring or autumn sale now bringing them out in a ’steady stream’.
He said: "It is rather than taking a big hit or big gain. They are not putting all their eggs in one or two baskets."
Looking ahead to next year, Mr Dodds said he thought trade would be ’fairly level’ throughout the first few months of next year.
"It has been down to supply and demand. I cannot see any spikes in demand coming."