Trade Talk with Jack Pickup, Gisburn Auction Marts Ltd.

30th October 2020

October has definitely been a pleasing month for prime cattle vendors, with both young bulls and clean cattle averages up 20-25p/kg compared with 2019. In fact, right throughout the Covid-19 crisis, beef trade has remained tremendously strong.

Young bulls have been selling for 230p/kg and heifers at 260-270p/kg weekly. It has been great to see our ringside a hive of activity, with both local independent and wholesale butchers trying to buy the best stock for the shop counters.

Last week (22 October), bulls topped with a nice Limousin bull weighing in at 498kg that made 235p/ kg. A Bazadaise weighing 530kg made 232p/kg. Commercial bulls regularly hit 190-205p/kg and a good number of dairy bulls made 160-170p/kg.

Cull cows have also remained strong in price, despite numbers being tight across the country. At Gisburn, we have been lucky and have managed to maintain numbers right through, with a buyer audience able to handle cattle of any specification.

We have still been seeing 80-plus cows forward weekly. The best sucklers are regularly making 160-170p/kg, and good dairy cows are 120-130p/kg, with leaner parlour-worn cows up to 100-110p/kg.

Cull cows are holding firm, with no sign of the trade slipping due to the current beef market being on a high. These cull cows are worth strong money, and the live ring is the only way to achieve a real price.

I think it is apparent that we must stand by our local mart and not bow down to the bigger deadweight opponents to ensure a proper price is paid for all stock.

Last week, dairy culls topped at 140p/kg and leaner parlour cows made 90-105p/kg. The top continental cow grossed £1,274.