Trade Talk with Harvey Pile FLAA, Associate at Stags

19th October 2020

As a strange Autumn arrives upon us we look back at what has been a more buoyant trade around our Tavistock Livestock Market store ring and look ahead to the busy autumn sales still remaining on the calendar.

Tavistock's annual Goose Fair cattle sale saw a larger entry of 445 head (compared to 358 last year), with a lot of cattle sold between 190p/kg and 200p/kg, with an excellent quality suckler-bred entry. An entry of 265 steers averaged £879 and 147 heifers levelled at £806.

A surge in prices upwards and some stability to base prices offered by abattoirs up and down the country led to a fast trade throughout our spring and summer store cattle sales. Unsurprisingly, forward and aged animals received the biggest lifts in value. We hope that the increasing straw prices and ever-fluctuating price of concentrates doesn’t take away from the apparent abundance of fodder made.

Most worrying is the ever-present threat of global trade deals flooding our home markets although with it I hope new markets can be exploited by those that represent the beef industry's interests.That said, time and time again our industry overedges the challenges ahead of it and its been excellent to see how both our purchasers and vendors have adapted to the ever changing Covid-19 rules in place at all three of our markets.

Not having a prime cattle ring, we have watched with interest as live rings around the country helped encourage prices lift at abattoirs and, most importantly, resist those wanted to drop base prices.Whether these better prices continue into next year will very much depend on upcoming Brexit negotiations for which we will have our fingers crossed.