R4LRepository for the Laboratory (School of Electronics and Computer Science; University of Southampton; UK)
R4LRapper for Life
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The only disappointing notes in an otherwise encouraging trade were an overall deadweight average of just 170p for steers and heifers in Northern Ireland, and only 178p for R4L carcasses in the South West.
However, R4L steers killed in the Midlands region levelled out at just 71.
The only notable improvement was in young bull classifications, where the number hitting R4L or better increased from 48% to 53% - but this remained below the 57% recorded in 2009.
The NBA calculates the price of a 320kg R4L steer carcase has fallen more than 28 [pounds sterling] since late January, whereas a similar 600kg live beast sold at auction has lost less than 18 [pounds sterling].
According to the NBA some of the biggest falls have been in Scotland where - with the exception of Scotbeef which is reported to have dropped the value of its standard R4L steers by 5p a deadweight kilo - there has been a general 7p fall with threats of another 8p drop next week.
Latest MLC estimates of deadweight prices show an R4L steer worth on average 1.
The year-on-year decline in prime cattle slaughterings of more than 5% recorded over the first five months of 2008 has been one of the main reasons behind the dramatic increase in beef prices seen so far this year, with R4L steer prices rising by fully 30%.
The GB average for R4L steer and heifer carcases is rapidly approaching 280p and current predictions, from Brazil itself, are that even Brazilian cattle will be selling for about 200p deadweight in sterling terms by the end of the year.
Stabiliser sired cattle bred from Signet recorded suckler herds will be eligible to join the scheme which requires finishing within 24 months off forage based systems to 300kg to 380kg target weight and grade R4L.
We've found they leave a margin higher than any of the other continental terminal sires we've used, simply because they achieve greater weight for age, an average 50kg more, and the vast majority grade in R4L bracket or better," he said.
He said the majority of the market was looking for an R4L carcase but he said he still saw cattle which were as much as fat class at 6 to 8 on the EUROP scheme.
Finished R4L steer averages climbed steadily from just over 210p/kg in late-August to 216 p/kg deadweight or so in mid-November, leaving them virtually identical to the same time last year.