The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk from Stephen Dodsworth - Darlington Farmers Auction Market

20th December 2019

As I write this, our final Christmas Primestock sale at the current location is upon us. The pinnacle of the auction system, as the very best of British livestock is showcased, the Christmas shows across the land should rightly fill our whole industry with pride.

In recent weeks the excitement for a seasonal lift in trade has built, as both the beef and lamb prices have picked up, despite the best efforts recently of a popular TV channel to belittle the meat industry. We defiantly stand behind red meat producers in the UK and most certainly still hope to see a very buoyant trade throughout. 

With the new mart opening in Spring 2020, and the egg-timer now running out on our old mart, I thought I would take a look back in time and ask the question “are we really any better off?”

  • The year is 1959 and In-lamb Swaledale ewes sold for £6 per head, with inflation considered that £6 in 1959 would be equivalent in purchasing power to about £138 in 2019.
  • The year is 1969 and Masham ewe lambs sold to a top of £17. 
    2019 purchasing power equals £277.
  • The year is 1979 and 3 week old Friesian bull calves were making £74. 
    2019 purchasing power equals £371.
  • The year is 1989 and in the August dairy farmers milk price rose to 22p per litre.
    2019 purchasing power equals 54p per litre. 
  • The year is 1999 and a good 650kg prime steer was making £800. 
    2019 purchasing power equals £1374.
  • The year is 2009 and the best prime lambs in December were making £100.
    2019 purchasing power equals £133. 

Food for thought………

Stephen Dodsworth
Stephen Dodsworth