Market prices

UK livestock price trends analysis


There was a marginal increase in deadweight cattle prices (week ended 13 June). The overall heifer and steer averages increased by 1p to 282p/kg and 283p/kg respectively, while the young bull price levelled at 274p/kg. The deadweight cull cow price was 5p down on the week, at 213p/kg.

Prime cattle at GB auction markets eased slightly (w/e 17 June) with the overall average price falling 2p week-on-week to 155p/kg. The young bull price recorded the largest fall on the week, to average 146p/kg. Steer and heifer prices averaged 157p/kg and 159p/kg respectively.

UK prime cattle slaughterings during May totalled 161,000 head. The main driver of this increase was a 7% year-on-year increase in heifer throughputs during the month; heifers accounted for 38% of total prime cattle slaughterings.

May steer slaughterings were 1% higher on the year, while UK young bull throughputs were nearly 3% lower than year-earlier levels. Scottish prime cattle slaughterings during May were 2% higher year-on-year, where the increase was mainly as a result of a 7% increase in steer slaughterings.

Despite the increase in May, year-to-date UK prime cattle slaughterings were 1% lower compared with the corresponding period a year earlier, at 870,000 head.



The finished lamb trade at GB auction markets eased significantly (w/e 17 June). The deadweight new-season lamb trade also eased (w/e 13 June) to average 406.3p/kg.

UK clean sheep slaughterings during May totalled 764,000 head, 5% lower than in the corresponding month last year. Throughputs in the first five months of 2009 were 9% lower than year earlier levels at 4.9 million head.

Clean sheep slaughterings in England and Wales were 12% lower in the January to May period of 2009 than in the corresponding period last year. The decline in throughputs in Northern Ireland meant that, at 177,000 head, slaughterings were 4% lower over the same period.

The annual fall in Scottish slaughtering was less marked, down 2% year-on-year to 567,000 head.



The DAPP rose by a further 0.5p (w/e 13 June) to 153.93p/kg.

Sow prices continued to fall, largely as a consequence of the recent strengthening of sterling's value against the euro. For the first time since last November the average export specification price was less than 110p/kg dw and just 9% above year- earlier levels.

In May 2009 clean pig slaughterings in England and Wales were up 1% on a year ago, but because of reduced throughputs in Scotland the GB kill was slightly less than in May 2008, at 577,000 head.