The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk - Martin Lloyd - Melton Mowbray Market

26th July 2021

Following an incredibly difficult 16 months, it is pleasing that Covid 19 restrictions get the most towards normal that they have been, that livestock farming has come through the crisis not only unscathed, but seemingly stronger.

Taking over as prime cattle auctioneer at Melton Mowbray Market in January of 2021, prime cattle numbers and trade nationwide had been rumbling along at a steady level. In the following months we have seen supplies of cattle drying up sharply nationwide and this has driven possible one of the steepest price hikes that many have ever seen, with a demand for red meat seemingly pushed by the lockdown and the need to eat at home. An absolute pleasure to see butchers back at ringside procuring for their shops as well as a strong demand from wholesale clients.

While clean cattle are undoubtably a very strong trade, the cull cow rings have seen some absolutely phenomenal returns and gross figures smashing previous records to bits, with this level of trade seemingly show no signs of stopping, even as numbers come forward.

Alongside the now booming cattle shed at Melton Mowbray, the sheep shed continues to move from strength to strength, with the high demand for sheep from last year carrying through. Large numbers of cull sheep are being drawn out by the strong trade in the weeks running up to Qurbani, and with a number of ewe lambs having been killed during the hogg season, it will only remain to be seen the impact on the breeding sheep sales this year, both in numbers forward and trade.

The importance of our Markets as social hubs is becoming apparent again as Covid restrictions lift and it is nice to see our farmers using them not only for business but an all-important social meeting place, and long may it continue.