Trade Talk March 2016

22nd March 2016

The first few months of 2016 have seen challenges thrown as us as Auctioneers and Farmers in terms of beef values, they are approx 15-20pkg liveweight lower than the year previous. The lower retail demand, a lower milk price putting many Dairy cows into the Cast sale rings, and with 2014 Spring born steers and heifers coming through to finish from December 2015 onwards giving a wave of Prime Cattle to the market has put pressure on maintaining a level end price.

At times of plentiful it is in my experience more important than ever to hit the required specifications of your end buyer whether it is the Auction Ring or the deadweight system. The live ring will penalise animals for being over fat or over weight just like the deadweight system. As auction marts we don't worry about have many moves the animal has incurred, 1 movement or 5 movements, the meat will taste the same!!!

The pound is at a 12 month low 1.28 against the euro as I write this, long term this is where as beef, lamb and pork producers it is required to stay. Export plays a large part of helping in financial returns of what is produced; there is a direct positive correlation in exchange rate to end market value.

The weeds have started to grow...which means the grass will be not far behind. The store cattle trade with our almost 300 plus shows each week has seen some serious competition with customers looking to purchase the best, the cattle destined for a summer grass parks are a fantastic trade and are coming forward with the demand in place, last Mondays average for grass cattle was £800, also the strong short keep cattle are again good to sell and have decent values behind them as they leave the ring but have seen a slight reduction in value, a direct link to the finished price.

The Prime Hogg trade here in Darlington has seen an average over the last month of approx. 195pkg week on week with numbers averaging 2800 with over 1000 ewes also present weekly. Some exceptional hoggs presented for sale from many root feeding men within the area. I predict the hogg numbers could reduce dramatically in less than a few weeks as trade has kept numbers coming forward nationally, those who present hoggs for sale during April and May could be financially rewarded especially with the lower pound helping export. The live ring gives the right price.