UK cattle auction prices wiping out finisher profits

The cost of housing and feeding beef through a long winter will lead to significantly higher beef store prices, a number of experts have predicted.

According to Hexham auctioneer Scott Donaldson: “This long, harsh winter has put incredible pressure on store and suckled calf producers. With round-bale hay at £30 a bale, there is hardly any room for profit.

Throughout the rest of 2010, slaughterings are likely to reduce with a probable rise in finished prices as a result. “Realistically they need to be nearer to the £3/kg mark to sustain the trade,” added Donaldson.

Patrick Dennis of West Country auctioneer Kivells said: “Store prices are way too dear for finishers to be making any margin, but they’re still buying in the hope that beef values will pick up by the time those animals reach slaughter weight.”

>> Price trends

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