Organic livestock

Price data

February 2015

 OLMC logo

Data courtesy of OLMC

£/kg

Beef - Finished
(under 30 months)

 £3.95
(R4L Base)

Cull Cow
(OTM in spec)

£2.80
(R4L)
 

Beef - Stores

 Price changes daily
Contact OLMC (details below)

Lambs - Finished

£4.30
(R3L Base)

Prices serve as a guide only and are averaged from information collected from key producers and traders.

 Graph of livestock prices - Meadow Quality
Data source for the above graph - Meadow Quality's weekly Market Report.

Market Summary

Demand for prime organic beef remains steady. However, the price has strengthened a little during January and into February. Supplies seem to be in reasonable balance with current abattoir needs, although there are signs of cuts in weekly kill numbers (which could increase waiting times if we see little uplift in consumer demand). The outlook as we move towards spring would indicate a marginal price change, which hopefully will not be challenged adversely if we do see a flush of cattle offered pre turning out. It's even more important to plan your sale window and ensure that you have discussed this with your cattle buyer so that a coordinated approach can be set up, thus allowing undisrupted sales of your stock where possible.

The OTM cow trade has remained firm - there has been a reasonably positive change in price and numbers required. The possibility of further forward movement in price will be determined by numbers coming out and colder weather. OTM numbers show signs of dropping off, and we can only wait for the inevitable cold snap which must surely come before the spring.

The trade for organic lambs has remained very steady, bumping slightly up and down due to variations in currency and the volatile conventional trade.
Numbers have been coming out steadily as lambs have finished well this year where being fed on roots. The quality of lambs has also been good for the most part, especially where regular selection is being undertaken. The policy of leaving them until the field is finished has brought a few surprises to those who have recently done this, providing too many over fat lambs. Regular monitoring with a keen eye on weight is essential to meet the specification, paving the way to your optimum return. Cleanliness of root fed sheep is still a talking point, where some who have not bellied are seeing significant penalties for presenting lambs that do not meet the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) code for cleanliness.

New lambs are being born now, ensure you know the rules on Identification, if in doubt ask your lamb buyer

Tim Leigh, OLMC - 01763 25031

Store Cattle Report (January):

For the past six months, supplies of organic store cattle have been very low and we are struggling to keep up with demand. We have experienced a number of very poor summers and winters which have meant that store cattle producers were very happy to sell their cattle in the late summer, autumn, and winter. In contrast, the summer of 2014 was a very good grass and forage growing season, which left producers in the enviable position of keeping their stores to bigger weights - or in some cases, finishing the cattle themselves.

Notwithstanding the weather, there are other factors affecting organic store cattle supplies. It is common knowledge that a number of organic producers have come out of organic production for a variety of reasons, and new entrants going into conversion are not keeping up with the numbers going out.

The national suckler herd is in decline. Over a 10 year period we have seen the numbers of beef cows decline by between 1% and 3% per annum, and this decline is bound to have been reflected in the organic sector. The most severe decline in numbers seems to have been in lowland suckler herds in central and southern England and Wales, where the highest numbers of organic stores have traditionally been produced.

Looking ahead, there is without doubt a good future in quality and efficient organic store cattle production. Herds of young, high fertility suckler cows produce good margins. Dairy bred beef cross stores sold at 400/450kgs also show good returns.

OLMC are always available to give advice, and if you have any store cattle to sell please let us know in good time so we can establish the best outlet for your stock..

Peter Jones, OLMC Store Cattle - 01829 730 580 / 07720 892 922