Meat & Livestock News

Beef Market Update – September 2023

View of a half cow chunks fresh hung and arranged in a row in a large fridge in the fridge meat factory.

Prices: In September, GB deadweight prices experienced a recovery after a previous decline. Prime cattle prices rose by nearly 4%, averaging 473.6p/kg for the month. Concurrently, cull cow prices also saw a 4% increase, averaging 329.4p/kg.

Costs: The past quarter witnessed a steady rise in fuel prices, influenced by the broader oil markets. There were also slight monthly hikes in fertiliser prices between August and September. 

If natural gas prices continue to rise in the coming months, it could increase costs for nitrogen fertiliser and fuel. The latest Agricultural Price Index (API) indicates a slowing inflation rate for goods and services. 

Notably, all primary input costs have decreased significantly from the previous year, which had seen them surge to record highs due to the Ukraine conflict.

Production and Trade: September beef production was marginally lower than the previous month and the same month last year. However, as the festive season approaches, a rise in slaughter levels is anticipated. Over the summer, beef exports remained below the 2022 figures. 

Although there was a slight monthly increase, exports were considerably lower than in August of the previous year. This trend is likely a result of reduced beef demand in Europe and the current pricing of UK cattle. Additionally, imports of fresh and frozen beef saw a slight monthly and annual decrease in volume.