Availability of more than adequate beef supplies in the British wholesale market is indicated by the softness of cattle prices. Although supermarket quality beasts are worth more than £1 per live kilo, the national average at auctions early in the week was well under 90p. Tighter, pricier supplies in Ireland and cattle retentions for subsidy in Britain have been expected to keep the market short and firm. But offsetting influences are said to be the poor finish of some beasts and the abundance of non-Irish imports, mainly South American and African. {{MEAT }}