Despite finished beef cattle prices in free fall and at a five-year low, the store trade has slipped marginally on the year.

Latest figures from AHDB show that while such values have indeed fallen since the start of the year, they haven't dropped by as much as the finished price.

Two-year-old stores sold through the auction marts have recorded declines across all categories with Continental-types down the most on a £ per head basis. Hereford crosses have held up the best with the average price actually rising in the first few months of the year, where all other categories generally declined.

Looking further back, 24-month-old continental steers first averaged around the £1000 per head in January 2012 and the price has rarely gone more than £50 below the £1000 per head since.

Figures for the week ending July 27 show two-year-old Hereford cross steers averaging £996.67 per head down £50 on the week while two-year-old continental cross steers in Scotland levelled at £1013.12 (-£51.10). This compares to continental heifers Scotland in same age bracket at £903.66 (+£1.42).