Trade Talk – Ben Shouler, Melton Mowbray Market
8th May 2020
Well what a transformation we have experienced at Melton Market over the last few weeks as we adapt to the Coronavirus lockdown and keep the food chain going. To minimise staff and customer numbers at any one time, and maintain social distancing, we have altered our usual working pattern to now sell sheep on our usual Tuesday, and cattle on a Wednesday.
Store cattle have been in great demand with plenty of highlights every week. A packed catalogue has attracted buying power from across the region and beyond and prices remain strong for quality. Finished cattle has been excellent with numbers rising weekly and new quality buyers on board. 221 forward on the 29th April with prices very strong for many finished steers and heifers at £1,300+, and the bull trade even better with a range topping £1,560 for a Charolais. Buyers wanted quality and it was in abundance.
A smaller show of hoggs (1023) found a good trade and pence per kilo remains strong for the right goods. The SQQ was healthy at 196.53/kg, with medium lambs topping at 234ppk and heavies at 220ppk, with all weight paid for. Spring lamb numbers increasing weekly (370) and trade also strong with medium lambs peaking at 244ppk, with heavies not far behind on 226ppk. Cull ewe (532) trade eased slightly in line with the start of an understandably quieter Ramadan than normal, but the ewes and lambs (464) trade was on fire and we could have sold many more.
Thank you to all the buyers, vendors and staff for working with us through these unprecedented times. Thanks to you, volumes are growing despite the lockdown and we are operating to the safety guidelines. We look forward to when we can relax these, welcome all customers and open the rest of the Market to generate the full Melton buzz.