The beef price has been driven up 8p/kg in the last seven days, with some abattoirs paying £3.98/kg for R-grade carcases.

However, there is a spread of prices, as some slaughterhouses try to increase their prices at a more modest rate.

This sharp rise would indicate a tightening of supply at a time when numbers are typically available.

Last year’s higher heifer kill looks to have dropped back to the level we have become accustomed to in previous years.

This upturn can be seen in the official Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) prices for the week ending 13 March. An R4L grading steer is priced at £3.93/ kg, which is up 5p/kg. Same-grade heifers were £3.95/kg, which is up 6p on the week. The young bull price is up 5p/kg to £3.79/kg.

Dairy steers averaged £1.95/kg, which is up 11p/kg on the week

Finished cows were reported by the AHDB at £2.78/kg for an 0-4, which is up 5p/kg on the week. At United Auctions sale of 106 cull cows, beef breeds averaged £1.61/kg and dairy breeds were £1.23/kg.

United Auctions in Stirling sold 1,756 store cattle last week, with steers at £2.44/kg, which was down 10p/kg on the week.

Dairy steers averaged £1.95/kg, which is up 11p/kg on the week. Heifers sold for an average of £2.38/kg, which was down 8p/kg. The top prices were £2.88/kg for a 366kg Charolais-cross steer and £1,500 for a 680kg Aberdeen Angus-cross steer.

Thainstone sold 1,395 store cattle, with steers averaging £2.49/kg, down 2p, and heifers at £2.47/kg, no change on the week.

Hoggets demand

Some Scottish abattoirs are paying farmers £6.40/kg for R grading hoggets up to 21kg, which is a rise of another 10p/kg for this week. However, other abattoirs are still at £6.30/kg for hoggets.

The Monday live sales continued their strength of previous weeks, with average prices of £2.85/kg at Ayr, £2.87/kg at Lanark and £2.94/kg at St Boswells.

Across Scotland, the average for the week ending 13 March was £2.87/kg, up 4p/kg for medium-weight hoggets.

The official AHDB price for across GB was £6.37/kg for an R3L carcase, which is up 19p/kg.

Pregnant breeding ewes were averaging £118/head, up £10/head

The ewe price in Scotland is £85/head, which is up £8 on the week for over 6,000 sold.

Aberdeen and Northern Marts held a store sheep sale of over 500 lambs, which averaged £108/head, the most expensive of the season so far.

Pregnant breeding ewes were averaging £118/head, up £10/head. Ewes with lambs at foot were selling for an average of £74/life.

Fodder sale

Thainstone sold 512 inside barley straw 400ft bales for an average of £13.80/bale.

Inside hay sold to £14.50/bale and haylage sold to £12/bale. Silage bales sold to £12.50/bale and loose turnips were making £29/t. Carlisle’s fodder sale saw barley round bales selling for £32/bale.

Silage round bales were selling for £17/bale, down £1 on the week.