The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk with Graham Ellis FRICS FAAV FLAA at Stanfords, Colchester Livestock Market

12th April 2021

Based in a predominantly arable area, with numbers of livestock probably at all-time-record lows, we maintain a strong outlet for those local farmers who still have stock. As with all markets, however, we are concerned about TB adversely affecting cattle finishing units. With many relying on cattle from TB1 areas, numbers through the green finished market have been reduced.

It has been fantastic to see, from early 2021, the finished sheep market so buoyant, with prime old season lambs reaching record levels, and a strong demand for all stock forward. 

Well presented, clean stock, in even lots, meet a premium and advantage in Colchester, where we are selling to local wholesalers and retail butchers, competing for quality stock. New season lambs are also starting at records levels, with the early Easter ensuring demand seen in late March.

The beef trade is also moving forward with strength.  Numbers are totally inadequate for the demand. Well finished cattle are always at a premium, with retail butchers looking for quality with cover, but no fat.

Being at the top of the growth area for new houses in the country, there is a public out there wanting quality British meat. One of the few positives of the Covid pandemic has been the tremendous increase in retail trade seen by quality butchers in this area.  That has meant more coming back to the live market, buying stock with local traceability, which our buyers are more concerned with, rather than FABBL status.

Hopefully, this is the way forward and will mean there will be a future for all livestock producers. We have an outlet for all classes of livestock, it is important that the live auction survives to maintain the buoyant trade.