UK: Cattle prices buck seasonal trend in 2023 and reach new record highs

Updated Mar 13, 2023
During February, prime cattle prices continued to set new record high levels at Scottish abattoirs according to the latest market commentary from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Latest figures from the industry body reveal R4L steers reached 489.2p/kg dwt in the week ending February 25th, an increase of 18.5% over the same week last year and of 30% compared to the five-year average. Iain Macdonald, QMS Market Intelligence Manager, explained: “It is unusual for market prices to be rising at this time of year. Indeed, between 2010 and 2022, R4L steer prices were lower in the eighth week of the year than in the first week of the year on 10 of 13 occasions. In addition, only in 2012 was the price at its highest of the year so far in week eight. Over the 13 previous years, there was an average reduction of 1.5% for the period but this year prices jumped 6% higher. “In Scotland, prime cattle prices have been rising despite weekly prime cattle slaughter being seasonally firm, running above its 2022 weekly average level, with spring-born cattle from 2021 reaching peak slaughter age.” The latest cattle population data from BCMS revealed a significant year-on-year ...
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