The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk - Mr R (Robert) Addision MRICS FLAA - Hexham & Northern Marts

7th February 2020

2020 has started well with all classes of stock selling well in the market place.

Prime sheep have been excellent reflected in a national SQQ average of 2.09p/kilo being up 23ppkg or £9.75 on the year.

Cast ewes have seen an even more animated demand with continental bred sorts regularly breaking the £100 barrier whilst hill bred types reaching the £90 mark. Last week’s cast ewe sale averaged over £80 up £20 on the year, why? A shortage of numbers worldwide together with a Brexit no deal scenario resulting in prime sheep being brought to market prior to the original Brexit departure date. 

Consequently our store sheep sales have been particularly buoyant with prospective feeders looking to replenish their numbers, as a result long term keep lambs have been very sought after even smaller lambs topping the £60 mark. Breeding sheep values have also risen on the back of the cast ewe trade with both pedigree and commercial in-lamb sheep realising excellent values in the marketplace. This hopefully will continue into the Autumn breeding sheep sales.

Whilst prime cattle prices seem to be stagnant store cattle sales have started with a bang. Once again well-bred summering cattle are realising prices not far below that of their older contemporaries.

However, it is not all rosy in the marketplace as it is apparent that the number of hill-bred suckler cows are declining. Adverse publicity, regarding cows, generally, an older farming workforce together with diminishing return is resulting in several herds being sold off without being replaced, this is a worry both to market operators and sensible environmentalists alike in it is well recognised that a mixed grazing regime is eminently better on the upland environment.

The end of the month will see the Brexit transition period triggered, the potential passage of the agriculture bill and hopefully the end of the over publicised “veganuary” what will happen? Nobody really knows apart from the fact that spring will come, cows will calve and sheep will lamb and that process of breeding, feeding and marketing of stock will begin again.

Mr R (Robert) Addision MRICS FLAA
Mr R (Robert) Addision MRICS FLAA