LMC Report: Changes In Cattle Prices Across UK

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - So far, 2011 has been a interesting year in the cattle trade. Back in May there was an unusual situation when ROI farmgate beef prices had surged forward and at one stage were the highest in the British Isles (for R3 steers).
calendar icon 19 August 2011
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Long considered the commodity producer in the EU beef market, ROI R3 heifer prices were actually third highest in the EU, trailing only the Greek and Italian markets which typically have the highest priced cattle.

While NI R3 steer prices did not quite reach the high levels set in ROI during the spring, prices in the two regions are now back on par.

This is thanks to a decline in ROI prices (in sterling terms) over the course of the summer, and while NI prices declined earlier in the summer, they have recovered strongly since early July.

The latest figures (we 06/08/11) show that NI R3 steer prices are higher than equivalent prices in the south, although it is worth noting the situation is different depending on grade and categories.

NI R3 steers prices are now at a broadly similar level to those in the English Midlands and Wales and Southern England.

As usual, Scottish and Northern England prices are the highest in the British Isles.

The rate of increase in Scottish prices has been gradual since April but while there was a downturn in prices in Northern Ireland, ROI and Southern England in May / June, prices were either stable or continued to rise steadily further north.

This meant Scottish prices moved ahead of the other regions during this period and in the last week of June, the gap between NI and Scottish R3 prices was 22p/kg.

This has since narrowed to less than 15p/kg. The gap was at it’s narrowest in late May when Scottish R3 prices were only six pence/kg higher than equivalent prices in NI.

Figure 2 shows average UK farmgate cull cow prices since the start of the year. It clearly shows that NI prices have generally been on a par with prices in Northern and Midland England since May, with Scottish prices well ahead of the others in April, May and June.

Over the course of May / June the gap between average cow prices in NI and Scotland was generally over 30p/kg.

However, with NI prices rising and Scottish prices coming under pressure during July, the latest prices show that the difference between NI and Scottish average cow prices was only eight pence/kg in the first week of August.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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