The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk from Bernie Hutchinson, Market Drayton Market

19th October 2018


The last couple of weeks has seen a major correction in the barren cow trade with another seasonal flush of cows coming to the market place.

Prices have been falling over the last three weeks with some cows seeing a 20p to 25p a kilo liveweight reduction.  Greatest hit seems to be the meated cows, however these are becoming few and far between in the entry, with a large proportion of cows marketed being in their working clothes, and showing signs of “milking off their backs”. The exceptional summer has seriously reduced quantity and quality of accessible grass and placed farmers under immense pressure going into the autumn and winter period.

Talking to farmers throughout The Midlands, certain counties have been hit harder than others, and have been utilising winter forage to buffer feed through the summer.

The market place seems to be placed under additional pressure with large amounts of very plain P1 and P2 light cows absorbing slaughter capacity, and exporters struggling to find heavy O+ and R grade cattle to service the export market.

In contrast the clean cattle and young bull trade seems to be holding remarkably well, and let’s hope as we move towards the festive period this underpins the demand, and results in a brisk trade. The only caveat being there is not a large carry over of beef from this autumn’s flush of cows.