Price trends

Cattle

The deadweight cattle trade levelled (week ended 12 December). Both the heifer and young bull averages were back 1p on the week at 277.8p/kg and 260.4p/kg respectively. The steer average was at 279.7p/kg, while the deadweight cull cow price strengthened 4p on the week to 167.4p/kg.

The liveweight prime cattle trade eased (w/e 16 December). The overall average was 154.2p/kg, with steers at 153.9p/kg, back 11p on the week and heifers at 160.4p/kg, down 8p. The young bull price averaged 143.9p/kg, down 2p. UK prime cattle slaughterings in November stood at 178,000 head.

Sheep

The GB deadweight SQQ averaged 382p/kg (w/e 12 December), 13p higher on the week. The liveweight trade at GB auction markets (w/e 16 December) eased by 2p to 171p/kg, while the average price for lighter lambs rose 7p to 178p/kg.

The average price of cull ewes continued to rise to 59.96 (w/e 16 December), 1 higher on the week.

UK clean sheep slaughterings totalled 1.24m head in November, 4% lower than year-earlier levels. Higher throughputs at abattoirs in Scotland in November were offset by a 5% decline in England and Wales.

Pigs

The DAPP eased further (w/e 12 December) to average 138.8p/kg dw. The average price was down by a further 3p to 102p/kg dw.

UK pig slaughterings continued to move higher in November. In the month as a whole, slaughterings totalled 796,000 head. This was equivalent to an average weekly throughput of 199,000 head, the highest since November 2007.

Within the UK, the greatest expansion in slaughterings has been in England and Wales, up 11% year-on-year in November. Northern Ireland slaughterings were up by 5%, but Scottish slaughterings were down by 8%.

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