Trade Talk with Mark Burgoyne, Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

1st December 2020

There is definitely a buzz around the cattle ring at the present time and despite COVID-19 restrictions and a ‘drop and go’ system in the market at the moment, trade is helping to enthuse producers.  We are very fortunate to be supported by several butchers and small/medium wholesalers around our beef ring.  Most of them are busy at present and have seen more punters supporting their outlets and staying local during these trying times.

The phrase ‘quality selling’ definitely has come to the fore since March, with best continental cattle achieving prices beyond recently achieved prices.  Heifers are regularly achieving above 260p/kg up to and above on occasion 280p/kg.  Cattle 480-540kg are regularly adding up nicely for producers between £1200 - £1400 in the lump.  We run a red slaughter only primestock sale and as long as producers present cattle that are well finished, good prices can be achieved and buyers return to do the same next week!

Imported beef supplies have been dramatically lower this year and only recently have we seen increased supplies mainly from Ireland during early autumn.  There is a chance that beef could be in strong demand over the Christmas period with supplies of turkeys variable and about 3 million people shopping at home and not travelling abroad for the festivities.

A secure, profitable home-grown livestock industry has never been so important since the Second World War.  Hopefully, it won’t take empty supermarket shelves to wake the nation that supporting local businesses – especially where food is concerned, is the best way to sustain an industry which has been very much taken for granted in recent times.