While deadweight cattle prices fell slightly during the second week in October, the average remains above last year’s level and above the five-year average.
Values were expected to reduce again slightly, but prices were tending to follow the seasonal trend with more cattle sent in off grass and adding pressure to the market.
AHDB analyst Tom Forshaw said the latest available figures showed the GB all prime average down by just under 1p to 366.22p/kg, but this was 2.6p/kg above the comparable week in 2017 and was actually higher than the five-year average by almost 6p/kg.
Comparing steers and heifers, the overall steer prices dropped by only half a penny to average 367.8p/kg, an average within which the R4L steer price fell further, by 2p, to 381p/kg.
Overall heifer prices fell by 1.7p to stand at 368p/kg and, similarly to steers, the price for within R4L specification fell more sharply, by more than 3p/kg.
A one per cent week-on-week increase in GB prime cattle slaughterings to an estimated 34,300 head was 2,300 head, or seven per cent higher than the same week last year and, according to Mr Forshaw, steers accounted for 51 per cent of the total, with heifers making up 41 per cent and young bulls just eight per cent.
“Heifer slaughterings have been particularly high this year and GB estimated slaughterings for heifers are now 20,500 head higher (+four per cent) than in 2017."
Cull cow prices on the other hand suffered another sharp decline – down 6.5p/kg, to average 223.6p/kg.
It was this was the fourth consecutive week to record a drop in values with more cows coming on to the market, with estimated slaughter up two per cent on the week and more than 11 per cent higher than the same week of 2017.
Estimated slaughterings for the second week in October totalled 13,600 head, the highest weekly kill of the year.
However, Mr Forshaw said the manufacturing beef export trade remained fairly firm.