The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk with Lyndon Trumper MRICS FAAV at J. Straker, Chadwick & Sons, Monmouthshire Livestock Centre

29th March 2021

Many things are hard to believe at the moment, especially in livestock marketing.

Most amazingly, we are exactly 12 months on from the first lockdown and remain operating under the numerous associated conditions. That said, I am sure all in the livestock sector will agree, we have been extremely fortunate to have kept trading throughout this time. Not just trading, but trading to record levels, seemingly with records broken in every section week in week out.

The recent LAA figures for trade in 2020 underlined this, with record throughputs and turnover. Here at Monmouthshire Livestock Centre, we have been fortunate to continue to enjoy enormous support throughout the last 12 months, with vendors travelling from ever increasing distances to market their stock, in all sections, to the widest possible demands and to achieve the best results.

Recent highlights from Monmouthshire include store cattle to £1545, stirks/yearling cattle to £1265, hoggets to £170 and 325p/kg, cull ewes to £158.50, rearing calves to £450 and cull cows to £1485 and 200p/kg.

The livestock auctioneering sector has once again proved its ability to adapt to challenging times, providing a fair, transparent and truly competitive means of marketing its produce.

That said there are numerous challenges. The continuous pressure from the climate change lobby, linking with ‘anti-meat’ pressure groups, transport proposals and ‘greening lobbies’, NVZs and many others, are all gathering clouds on the horizon.

Livestock markets need throughput to succeed. The current high prices are extremely welcome, but just like farming, these are eroded by ever increasing input costs. In the oft repeated words ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’, let us hope that sanity reigns and that all in the livestock sector can hold on to some of the recent gains.