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Worries increase as beef trade continues its decline

The market for beef cattle failed to receive a boost at Christmas and has fallen back significantly since this period

Joel   Durkin

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Joel   Durkin
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Industry chiefs have pointed to increasing pressure on the prime cattle trade as markets continue to decline.

 

Beef prices failed to receive a price lift in the run up to Christmas and since the new year prices have fallen back significantly.

 

In the week to March 19, deadweight steers fell a further 2.3p/kg to 325.6p/kg and steer prices are now lower than at any point last year.

 

Debbie Butcher, senior analyst for AHDB, said: "The combination of subdued consumer demand and adequate supplies continues to drive some restraint among processors and exert downward pressure on the prime cattle market."

 

Ms Butcher claimed the beef trade had fallen 10p/kg since new year and was 28p/kg behind last year in the week to March 19.

 

She also noted concerns queues were forming at processors for those booking animals in.

 

"There are reports queues for all types are starting to emerge at many processors which presents the risk some animals at slaughter condition could end up being kept on farm longer than would be ideal and thus present out of specification," she said.

 

Sheep prices fell at auction marts in the past week following the end of the Easter procurement period. Prices had risen significantly in the run up to the holiday.

 

In the week to March 23, the GB SQQ was down 5p/kg compared to 186.81p/kg the previous week.


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