Trade Talk by Hugh Brown

5th December 2016

What an autumn season we have had. 

With our new £5.5m cattle development rising from the site of the old fat cattle shed, we can't wait to have it operational next spring.  In the meantime, we are selling stores and fat from our existing store building.  With the store season this meant we simply had too many cattle to be able to sell them all on a Tuesday, so we have held some special Friday sales to accommodate them, the last of which will be for a herd dispersal of 170 Montbeliarde milking cows and followers today - 25 November.  I would like to thank all customers and staff for their support in making these additional sales a success.

Store cattle prices have dipped a little from previous highs with yards getting full, but prime prices remain strong in the run up to Christmas.

The sheep trade has been even better with the season starting early with a full shed from August onwards and the breeding sheep spectacular with 11,500 animals going through the ring, with an average price of £111.

The large export demand for British sheep and the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote was ideal for sheep farmers with prices rising immediately, though they have now fallen off with lots of smaller animals around and trade for these in particular is getting a little harder.

This month we welcomed our peers from the auction market business to Melton Mowbray for the Livestock Auctioneers Association AGM.  It is clear that there is a lot on all of our plates (not least the delicious lunch from the award winning Tavern team) and we are indebted to our secretary Chris Dodds for all his hard work representing us across the UK and Europe and look forward to working with our new Chairman John Brereton of St Asaph & Oswestry marts.  Without livestock markets setting a fair and transparent public price, deadweight prices would be much lower. 

Finally, we have just completed another year as sponsors and auctioneers to the East of England Smithfield Festival, where we had a good couple of days and sold the supreme champion, Sassy Lassy, for £10,000 on behalf of Jennifer Hyslop of Girvan to the aptly named local butcher 'We hae meat'.

Trade Talk by Hugh Brown - CEO - Melton Mowbray Market