LMC Report: Average NI Cattle Prices Lag Behind GB

UK - This week’s bulletin looks at the regional variation in prices throughout the UK for carcases trimmed to the UK Dressing Specification.
calendar icon 3 July 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Comparisons in the table below were previously shown to the EC Dressing Specification. The UK Dressing Specification became effective in NI on 19/01/09, whereas it was introduced on 29/07/08 in GB. Over the course of 2009 to date, NI cattle prices have remained substantially lower than prices reported in GB. During the period between 19 January and 19 June 2009, NI steers and heifers were worth around 269p/kg, around 13p/kg less than the GB average.

Southern England: Lowest prices in GB

As usual the lowest prices in GB were in Southern England (ES) where the average steer price was just over 275p/kg during the period under consideration. However, this is still 6p/kg higher than NI steer prices. Throughout this year, Scottish (SC) prices have been the highest in the UK, with the average Scottish steer price at 290p/kg, around 21p/kg higher than the NI price.

GB steers 16p/kg higher in 2009

Over the course of the year, the gap between the average NI and GB price has widened and then narrowed again. Last week the gap between steer prices in NI and GB was 15p/kg, close to the average differential for the year to date. The differential was at a low of 7p/kg in early February when NI steers were worth 275p/kg. However, by late April the gap widened to 19p/kg as the NI steer price fell to less than 266p/kg while GB prices were more stable.

Scottish prices significantly higher

Since early March, the difference between Scottish and NI steer prices has been in excess of 20p/kg.Last week the gap reached 25p/kg, with Scottish steer prices having increased by almost 6p/kg over the last month. While the higher prices in Scotland are a reflection of the greater proportion of Scottish carcases going to independent butchers and quality catering outlets, the extent of the difference will concern NI producers.

NI cow prices remaining firm in comparison with GB

While NI clean cattle prices have lagged well behind those in GB, NI cow prices have performed better since the start of 2009. On average, NI cows have been worth 211p/kg, while cow prices in Southern England averaged less than 197p/kg. However, cow prices throughout GB have been higher, with the best prices available in Northern England (EN) where cow prices have averaged 224p/kg since January.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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