Meat & Livestock News

Weekly Cattle and Sheep Market Summary

TL;DR: Cattle prices slightly fell, and sheep prices dropped but remained high year-on-year. Easter and weather affect slaughter; the EU-NZ trade agreement could impact trade.

Cattle Overview:

This week, prime cattle prices faced a slight decrease. The GB all-prime average fell by 2p to 487.7p/kg. These prices match those from the same period last year. A detailed look shows steer and heifer prices dropped, while young bull prices rose significantly. Cow prices increased to their highest since last July.

Regionally, steer and heifer prices decreased. Only Northern young bulls and cows saw a decline this week. Prime cattle slaughters dropped by 11%, influenced by the shorter Easter week, yet increased slightly from last year. Cow slaughters also decreased due to Easter.

Market trends indicate mixed beef demand post-Easter, with steady mince sales. The upcoming BBQ season’s impact on demand is uncertain.

Sheep Overview:

Sheep prices saw a decrease from last week but are significantly higher than last year’s figures. AHDB reports an over 8% drop in GB sheep slaughters compared to last year. Easter affected the slaughtering schedule, contributing to a 30% decrease in throughputs from the previous week. Wet weather is affecting turnout and feed availability.

UK lamb prices remain higher than European counterparts, with the French market staying strong. The EU-NZ trade agreement, effective end of May, could impact EU sheep meat trade, a key topic for future discussion.