Feeders have been praised by the National Beef Association for holding
back finished cattle so the supply blockage that built up during
the recent heat wave could clear.
NBA chairman, Duff Burrell
As a result of their action the NBA says slaughter cattle
prices across the UK are beginning to firm up again and the threat
of additional premature price falls extending into autumn has been
"The return of cooler weather has done much to restore demand
following the massive, and progressive, slump in retail purchases
reported over the second half of July and early August," explained
NBA chairman, Duff Burrell.
"But this would not have been enough on its own to trigger
the overall 6p-7p per live kilo lift reported by the auction system
on a cross-GB basis over the last two weeks and the very welcome
lift in deadweight prices that took place last week as soon as
traders were faced with much bigger orders for beef and were forced
to hunt for the cattle to supply them"
According to the NBA the concerted, cross-UK, effort to minimise
income damage by balancing slaughter cattle supplies with reduced
demand is evidence that more finishers are becoming adept at responding
to market signals.
"Now that market income has become even more important than
it was in the past feeders have learned there is little point in
throwing cattle at a system that is already choked because not
enough beef is being taken off at the retail and catering end," said
"Evidence of the effectiveness their actions is plain to
see. Last week the Livestock and Meat Commission in Northern Ireland
reported a 14 per cent drop in the number of cattle presented for
slaughter and it was no accident that NI prices, and those in the
Republic of Ireland too, began to lift as abattoir stocks quickly
"Similar falls in the volume of cattle available were also
reported across GB. One result is that deadweight averages are
now 10-11 per cent higher than they were at this time last year
and rising at a time some feared they could continue to fall."
"Finishers are being rewarded for having the good sense to
hold back cattle until the weather cools. The next time temperatures
soar it is likely that the market response will be even quicker
now that more farmers appreciate that large volumes of beef are
not eaten in a heat wave and it is best to keep supplies back until
stocks clear and processors are once again actively searching them
out," Mr Burrell added.
Keep Back Beef Cattle for Cooler Times
Farmers looking for reassurance from beef labelling inspections
Plan Ahead Realistically for Finishing Stock Buying