Trade Talk by Lyndon Trumper

21st June 2016

It's hard to believe that it's June again...and even more amazing that we've now been in occupation of our new market site at Raglan for 2½ years.

We're grateful for some tremendously loyal support which has seen numbers grow in all categories and coincided with what has been a reasonably satisfactory trade.

We've seen our store cattle numbers ease back slightly in the last few weeks, but we have enjoyed an excellent average entry of 300 head per week since the beginning of the year. The trade certainly dipped during May as the result of price pressure at the finishing end and a slow start to the grass growing season, but it's firmed again since. Outside pressures remain a concern, 'carcass specification', number of movements and in particular TB continues to 'play havoc' with the sector, affecting the confidence and future plans of buyers and sellers alike.

It's hard to imagine another situation that has seen such a prolonged effort involving huge financial expenditure and resulting in untold misery over so many years whilst seemingly not making any perceivable progress in eradicating the disease.

We had a short entry for our first seasonal breeding cattle sale of the year matched with a strong trade, with a Hereford X heifer and her Limousin bull calf (1m) selling at £1,860, British Blue bulling heifers selling to £1,030 and strong competition for bulls topping at £3,200 for a 19 month Limousin.

New seasons lamb sales are now getting into full flow with some 3,500 being offered over the last two Monday and Wednesday sales. It's good to see the average climbing above the £2/kilo mark, with strong competition across all weight ranges. Producers need this price level to match their ever increasing costs of production. Many vendors are reacting well to demand by selecting lighter weight entries (+/- 30kgs), which as with the cull ewes remain in strong demand. The weaker Pound too promises to help the export sector in the run up to the European vote at least.

Our monthly sale of pigs has seen substantial growth since opening, although trade remains extremely volatile. Calves remain the most lively of trade, with cull cow prices holding up well too.

Attention will soon turn to standing straw sales, pedigree ram sales, breeding sheep sales and then autumn suckled calf sales.

Lyndon Trumper
Auctioneer/surveyor
J Straker Chadwick & Sons
Abergavenny