Trade Talk - Philip Mortimer, Frank Hill & Son, Hull Market

7th May 2021

As the country emerges from another lockdown, the nation’s farmers continue to do as they have throughout the last 12 months, producing quality food for the public.

 

At Hull Market this week our best hoggs topped at 362.2p/kg, most falling either side of 300p/kg, despite many lacking finish, a healthy rise from the 220p/kg in January. Current prices being driven by supply and demand. Concerns over Brexit saw many lambs sold before 31st December, rising prices have meant farmers have continued to sell rather than hold them back and so demand is greater than supply.  We anticipate prices to remain particularly strong until significant numbers of spring lambs are marketed. Handy 40-45kg still being the best to place. There is confidence again in the sheep market, ewes and lambs trading with us at £80/life.

 

Store cattle are now coming forward in numbers. Monday’s best saw Limousin steers around 14 months old achieving £1200. The same cattle last year would be £900. The recent gains in the prime cattle trade have resulted in a firming of store cattle prices, as buyers reinvest, with well-bred cattle still commanding the greatest interest.

 

April 2020 saw cull sows average 72.8p/kg, by mid-May it was 43.5p/kg with trade continuing to fall to lows of 20.4p/kg in December. The majority of sow meat is exported to the continent. Brexit concerns and possible tariffs, reduced demand for the finished product and a backlog of meat created as processors briefly shut due to Covid outbreaks, meant the sow trade lacked stimulus. The initial export difficulties post Brexit and the meat surplus seemed to have passed, demand has returned from both English and export trade. This week sows averaged 50.2p/kg, the well fleshed selling for over 55p/kg. Hull’s overweight gilts (150kg+) favoured by our local butchers for processing averaged 77p/kg.