The traditional position of the Scottish beef price is the best in the UK, but, in recent weeks, some English prices have been higher.

The official Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) price for an R4L steer in northern England is £4.21/kg compared with £4.19/kg in Scotland.

U3 steer carcases are getting £4.22/kg in central England compared with £4.13/kg in Scotland.

The beef price which farmers are reporting paid has firmed or even lifted a couple of pence in the last week. The base price, including Scotch premium, is between £4.03/kg and £4.11/kg for an R grading continental steer.

The AHDB beef price for an R4L steer is up 6p to £4.19kg. Same-grade heifers were £4.16/kg, unchanged on the week. The young bull price is £3.98kg deadweight, up 4p.

Cows grading O-4L were £2.85/kg, which is up 3p on the week. Well-fleshed cows are making £2.95/kg to £3.00/kg.


United Auctions sold 1,109 store cattle last week, with steers averaging £2.27/kg and heifers £2.26/kg. A high number of cattle were being bought by English finishers for taking south of the border.

Thainstone sold 1,244 store cattle at a special 150th anniversary sale. The sale averaged £2.38/kg for steers and £2.34/kg for heifers. The overall average for the sale was £1,262/head.

Lanark Mart sold 298 cattle, with steers averaging £2.15/kg and heifers £2.10/kg.

Prime steers averaged £2.52/kg in the live ring and heifers averaged £2.48/kg.

Cull beef-sired cows averaged £1.49/kg and dairy cull cows averaged £1.09/kg.

Hogget trade

Scottish hoggets in abattoirs are still between £5.90/kg and £6.00/kg for R grading carcases up to 22kg.

The live trade softened again by 5p to 10p, with many marts this week averaging around £2.60/kg liveweight.

The AHDB price for an R3L hogget across the UK is £6.17/kg, which is up 7p/kg for the week ending 8 January.

United Auctions sold 5,221 hoggets for an average of £2.64/kg, which is down 6p/kg. The top price for a hogget was £148/head.Thainstone sold 1,963 store hoggets for an average of £93/head. The 353 lambs coming from Shetland and Orkney averaged £79/head.

At the Caithness sheep sale, feeding ewes averaged £111/head, with a top price of £212 for a Suffolk-cross half-bred.

The cull ewe price in Scotland averaged £89/head, which is down £5 for the 4,666 sheep sold.

Fodder sale

Barley straw was selling for between £26 and £29 per round bale at Carlisle Mart, with mini hestons going for £94/t.

Wheat bales were making £25/bale and mini hestons were £85/t.