Trade Talk - Robert Venner MRICS FAAV FLAA, Partner, Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Sedgemoor Auction Centre

27th August 2021

The store cattle trade at Sedgemoor in 2021 has been phenomenal. We saw averages in the eight hundreds through 2020, rising well into the nine hundreds as soon as we turned the year. The averages have been over £1000/head for the last two months, to a peak of £1061.24 on Saturday 24th July. We have never seen a trade like it before and the top prices are consistently over £1500 to a top of £1600.

Continually contracting cow numbers, both dairy and suckler, the current “staycation” period, the resurgence of “balanced” home cooking and interruptions to import supply chains have all contributed to the rise in value.

Finishers who bought cattle in 2020 were very pleased with their returns as they sold fat on a rising trade through 2021. Now buying replacements on this unprecedented trade requires more courage.

Slaughterers are desperate to pull back the finished price. During harvest this may not be possible as some finishers turn their attention to collecting grain and straw, rather than picking and delivering cattle.

The Autumn flush will probably see a slight reduction as numbers become more plentiful. However that will probably be short lived as finishers are generally tight to their cattle and a week or two missed would not bother them.

Store cattle numbers running into the Autumn look tight. 2021 has shown fewer cattle than 2020, hence this pattern and trade are unlikely to change.

We look forward to welcoming vendors this Autumn, who if returning for their seasonal sales will no doubt return home very satisfied, as 2020 in the store cattle trade is a very long time ago.