Trade Talk with Andrew Body, Cattle Auctioneer, Truro Market, Cornwall - Good entries in a changing landscape

26th June 2020

Reflecting on today’s market in Truro (17th June), it takes some believing to see how things have dramatically changed in a short space of time.  Coronavirus is in no small part responsible for fluctuations, but only two weeks ago the store cattle trade was teetering on the edge of dropping, due to persistent dry weather.  Plenty of rain fell in the nick of time and the grass has jumped, which, combined with the hike in finished cattle prices, has underpinned and boosted the store sales.

With a good attendance of socially distanced buyers, an entry of well over 100 head through the slaughter ring saw handy weight butchers’ steers at 220p/kg, heifers at 216p/kg and heavy non-assured steers to £1,525.  Previous reporting of low Irish kills and other factors is forcing the cull cow trade, with many beef types at 150p/kg to 160p/kg and £1,300 and with plenty of Holsteins over £1,000 and at 138p/kg.

Despite being situated on a narrow peninsula, surrounded by sea, and the furthest south-west market in the country, with tens of thousands of acres of land in the area once used for dairy farming and livestock production now growing potatoes, daffodils and brassicas, we still see good entries of store cattle, averaging over 250 head per week, today with 18 month steers to £1,170 and many more over £1,100 and best heifers to £1,135.

In the sheep pens, trade is back a little from past weeks with lambs topping at £100 and 221p per kg and culls ewes to £123.

Clearly, we remain in uncertain times, but expect holidaymakers to flood into the county if the ‘gates are opened’ from 4th July. This will give a long-awaited lift to local businesses including the butchers, abattoirs and wholesalers, supplying many pubs, hotels, restaurants and local shops, deserving our continued support.