Trade Talk by Graham Ellis

3rd March 2017

The number of prime cattle in Colchester Market totally insufficient for regular buyers resulting in a strong trade for all cattle in the early part of 2017. Great concern about numbers going through the live ring with TB restrictions affecting several fattening units within the area and many yards not being filled in the Autumn of 2016 due to the price of stores.

Markets provide an open transparent marketing system and do benefit vendors and more cattle urgently needed.

The finished hogget trade extremely difficult with large numbers of heavy hoggets coming forward outside of all supermarkets specification and depressing the returns. Lambs purchased in 2016 will show very little if any positive return when considering the cost of folding sheep despite the winter we have had.

A premium is still paid for well presented clean sheep and this is becomng more important with the depressed hogget trade.

The benefit of live marketing sheep is that there are buyers for all but it is so frustrating when many sheep are outside the specification required by buyers. It is of great concern to all that when the pound is so weak and there should be a strong export trade the export demand is under severe pressure.

There still appears to be a high number of hoggets to come forward and with the weight increasing it is likely that 40-44kg hoggets will become dearer while the commercial heavy weight hoggets trade may well come under greater pressure.