The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk - Alastair J Brown FdSc FLAA, Senior Auctioneer, Bletsoes

8th April 2022

Spring has been seen in late March, and now we are having a little warm rain to hopefully make the grass grow. Prices this year have been seen at levels we have not witnessed before especially in the cattle rings throughout the country.

Store cattle are at least £50 and probably nearer £100 per head dearer than last year’s prices, and this is all driven by the finished product with a high demand for beef cattle, also seeing a high demand is the older cows with prices over £2 per kilo, but this is currently eating into our breeding herds and will consequently reduce cattle numbers and most probably cause further demand in the future.

Market your stock appropriately, during current high demand there is no better place to market your stock than the live ring, out of spec cattle and better-quality heavier types are exceeding the prices gained on the deadweight by them limiting their weights and other ways to reduce the total price you have been promised.

A little different on the sheep side with hoggs remaining at lower levels per head than the previous year and observing last year’s prices many auctions were boasting prices of hoggs well in excess of £150, this year prices are achieving roughly £25 less per head, Easter will soon be here and it is good to see adverts on the television promoting lamb, but will it be too late this year? Many producers this season have pushed their lambing later in the year and this year prices may follow the hogg trade and be seen at similar levels to older lamb.

Cull Sheep are at high levels as seen last year with a number of ethnic festivals being held supporting the older sheep section, prices seen at over £200 for Texel ewes and £150 for Mules.