Trade Talk - Glyn Lucas, Senior Dairy Auctioneer, Harrison & Hetherington

1st February 2021

2021 has got off to a bullish start for the global dairy industry. The latest GDT event saw all commodities rise by an average of 3.9% with butter leading the way with an increase of 7.2%. However, it is worth mentioning that values remain lower than 2020.

It is also worth noting that an increase in feed costs looks inevitable, with most global traded grains seeing significant market increases. 

Brexit has happened, and one month in early disruption is evident, with COVID travel restrictions adding extra complexity. We must continue to lobby government to ensure UK agriculture remains an outward looking global player.

Demand for all categories of livestock continues to be high across the UK and Europe, reflected in solid values.  When we analysed December 2020 values of all dairy cattle sold through H&H against December 2019, we saw a 19.3% increase.  A similar increase in values has been calculated within the sheep and beef sectors.           

Our monthly Pedigree sale, in conjunction with the Border & Lakeland Holstein club, offers buyers the best choice of freshly calved animals.  Our December sale featured 231 animals with an overall average of £2174; 72 milking animals sold for £2000 or more. 

Developing our dairy sales service has helped to grow our monthly commercial sale, now including on farm valuation, pre-sale preparation, excellent overnight livestock accommodation, milking parlour and the latest online sales technology.  

This monthly sale regularly has 300+ cattle selling with most breeds represented.  The December sale was the first-time commercial cattle have averaged over £2000, with a top price of £3000 for a special Holstein heifer.  We get a high standard of cross bred dairy cattle including Montbeliarde, Fleckvieh and Jersey selling.  In December they averaged over £2000 and topped twice at £2500 for Jersey Holstein cross heifers.                 

Thanks for milking!