UK Beef market monthly update: November 2023
GB deadweight cattle prices eased slightly heading into November before they grew into the final weeks of the month. The all-prime average price started the month at 478.0p/kg before a slight drop of around 0.2p in the second week. The measure then gained momentum, with an average price of 479.3p/kg for the final week.
Cow prices followed a similar trend, having recorded steep drops in the months prior. In the second week of November the overall cow price averaged 289p/kg, before increasing into the final weeks to end the month at 291.5p/kg.
Fertiliser costs remained below last year’s levels in November but have moved sideways in recent months, as prices remain historically high for this point in the season. This is partly due to increased natural gas prices as unrest in the Middle East continues. Fuel prices fell slightly in November and remain below high levels seen last year.
Beef production eased slightly in November but continued to rise. Production grew by 1% from October’s level to 83,300 tonnes, still sitting slightly below last year’s figures due to some tightness in the supply chain. Prime cattle slaughter was up on the month to 183,900 head, with similar rates as those seen in November last year. Average carcase weights remained lighter against the previous month and year.
Fresh and frozen beef imports increased into October (up 7% versus September) but have declined on the year. Beef exports rose into October by 17% compared to the previous month. However, volumes have continued to be below last year’s levels, with continued pressure from high domestic prices and lower demand from the continent.