The beef price rose 3p to 5p/kg in most abattoirs this week, with many paying around £4.15/kg to £4.20 for R 4L carcases.

This is up from prices around £3.50/kg last year, which has put over £300/head on a finished animal.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reported that the retail price of beef has changed little over the last year.

The official AHDB price for the week ending 10 April is £4.18/kg for an R4L steer, which is up 1p/kg.

Same-grade heifers were £4.20/kg which is up 2p on the week. The young bull price up 3p/kg to £4.07/kg.

Finished cows were reported by the AHDB at £3/kg for an 0-4, which is up 5p/kg on the week. Across marts in Scotland, cull cows averaged £1.45/kg, a fall of 5p, with 392 sold through marts.

Store cattle

Thainstone sold 1,288 store cattle last Friday, with steers averaging £2.68/kg and heifers £2.63/kg. United Auctions in Stirling sold 1,687 stores, with steers averaging £2.56/kg and heifers £2.51/kg.

St Bosewells held a store sale where steers averaged £2.57/kg and heifers averaged £2.47/kg.

Many heavy store steers are making over £1,600/head, which shows strong confidence in the short-term beef market.

Longer keep cattle are not commanding as high a price, but they are still around £100/head up on the year.

£7/kg hogget trade

Scottish abattoirs are paying farmers £6.80/kg to £7/kg for R grading hoggets up to 21kg.

High prices continued in the live ring, with Monday’s sales at Ayr, Lanark and St Boswells all averaging £3.08/kg to £3.21/kg and Tuesday’s sales peaking at £3.14/kg in Dingwall.

Across Scotland, the average for the week ending 10 April was £3.14/kg, up 14p/kg for medium-weight hoggets. This puts a 44kg lamb at £138/head.

The AHDB price for across GB for the same week was £6.48/kg for an R3L carcase, which is up 23p/kg. The kill across the UK was down 4.7% to just over 25,000.

The ewe price in Scotland is £109/head, which is up £12 on the week for just over 3,100 sold.

A good number of big heavy ewes were selling for over £200/head.

Lanark Mart sold 100 motherless lambs last week, which averaged £10.22/lamb.

Fodder sale

Thainstone sold over 2,700 bales of straw this week as cold weather keeps cattle inside.

Indoor barley straw dropped £2/bale to £18/bale, with outside straw peaking at £12/bale.

Inside hay rose £2.50 to £15/bale.

Wrapped silage was also up £2.50 to £11/bale.

Fodder beet delivered to farm fell £5/t to £35/t and turnips delivered sold to £30/t and ex-farm sold to £25/t, down £2.