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UK livestock price trends analysis

Cattle

A 1p rise in the average heifer price to 276.9p/kg (week ended 3 October) was partially offset by a small fall in the steer average to 279p/kg. Young bulls averaged 264.6p/kg. The deadweight cull cow average eased by nearly 1p on the week to 182.7p/kg. The liveweight prime cattle trade at GB auction markets (w/e 7 October) was similar to week-earlier levels. Steers averaged 149.8p/kg and heifers levelled at 155.5p/kg, while the liveweight cull cow price eased by nearly 3p to average 87.7p/kg.

The average retail beef price remained similar to month-earlier levels at 561p/kg.

Sheep

At GB auction markets (w/e 3 October) the SQQ stayed stable at 134p/kg, while the cull ewe price showed a slight rise of 70p to 42.22/head. But there was a sharp fall of 13p in the deadweight SQQ average price to 308.7p/kg.

The average farm price remained relatively stable between August and September, but the average retail price fell by almost 3%. This resulted in a 1% drop in the spread between the farmgate and the average retail price to 51.6%. Retail prices fell across most cuts, with the largest decline in diced lamb, down 5% to 10.10/kg.

Pigs

The DAPP fell by more than 1p (w/e 3 October) to 148.47p/kg dw. The export sow price dropped slightly again last week to 112.6p/kg. Since mid-July, sow returns have been lower than in the same period in 2008. The average price is currently over 15p/kg less than a year ago.

While the producer price for pigs eased between August and September, the average retail price for pork grew fractionally, resulting in producers receiving a reduced share of the final retail price. Price increases for fillet end leg joints and diced pork contributed to the retail price rise.