Increased supplies have resulted in finished beef prices remaining stubbornly below the much needed 450p plus per deadweight kg mark in all corners of the GB, but they are slowly but surely heading in the right direction with evidence of the Scotch premium for the first time in months.

While the all heifer or all steer price in Scotland has occasionally risen above those in the North of England in recent weeks, this is the first time in several months, if not this year, that all steer, heifer, bull and cow prices have been higher.

Figures for the week ending June 11, point to an all Scottish steer average of 447.1p per dwkg against a North of England average of 444.9p, with supplies rising by 15% and 31.4% respectively.

Similarly, the all Scottish heifer average was just shy of 450p at 449.8p, with those in the North of England cashing in at 443.3p, again, with throughputs up 4.8% and 21.9% respectively.

Young bull values of 441.4p in Scotland, are 5.2p above those just south of the Border at 436.2p.

Throughputs have been up across the board too, with total GB steer numbers up 19.4% to average 441.6p, a rise of 1.4p on the week, while GB heifers averaged half a penny less at 441.1p, (-0.3p) with an 11.7% increase.

GB bull throughputs were also up by 22.6%, to average 435.5p (+1.7p), with cows cashing in at 360.6p (+0.1p) with a 25.3% rise in numbers.

If prices continue to rise or at best remain on a par with the previous week, for significantly higher throughputs, demand must be strong and likely to continue into the summer months.

There is not the beef to import from Northern Ireland or Eire when their prices remain much on a par with GB for the week ending June 11. In the Republic, while no overall steer average was given, those grading R3 averaged 460p per dwkg, with the all steer price in NI levelling at 435.5p.

Similarly, R4 heifers in Eire averaged 462.9p with all heifer price in Northern Ireland of 437.7p.

With a global shortage of all proteins and particularly beef, it can only mean one thing for the sector – prices have to get nearer the much needed £5 per deadweight kg.