Trends in the beef market

Higher demand from consumers resulted in beef slaughter prices to trend upward during April, according to AMT.

Weaner prices however decreased due to higher supply levels and lower demand. Slaughter prices can decrease over the next three months due to lower supply and higher demand.

Price movements

·           Weaners – The price was 4.51% lower compared to the previous month, 8.61% lower than two months ago and 1.63% higher than last year the same time. Based on historic trends, the price can trend upward over the coming month.

·           A2/3 – The price was 5.73% higher compared to the previous month, 9.58% higher than two months ago and 17.84% higher than last year the same time. Based on historic trends, the price can trend downward over the coming month.

The weaner price decreased during April which combined with an increase in the A2/A3 carcass price resulted in the weaner : carcass price ratio to decrease to 0.61; which is on par with the long term average ratio of 0.60. The significantly higher yellow maize price in combination with a higher A2/A3 carcass price resulted in a higher maize to carcass price ratio of 14.24.

The weaner price is expressed in carcass (A2/A3) equivalent given a 55% dressing percentage. Weaner prices decreased while the carcass prices increased during the past month. Expected decreases in A2/3 carcass prices combined with higher weaner prices during the short term will result in the margin between the respective prices to widen. Weaner prices (relative to carcass prices) are trading higher than the A2/3 carcass price, this trend is expected to increase slightly during the short term

Aggregate commercial slaughter numbers stayed on 0.82 index points during April. Slaughter numbers are expected to stay on a similar level in the following three months.   

Hide prices decreased towards the end of last year but is in an upward trend since the end of 2021. The prices increased again during April and can stay in an upward movement over the next three months.

Feedlot and veld hide prices are currently trading on R5.47/kg and R5.26/kg respectively.