Auction marts set the trend

9th May 2011

Livestock markets around the country are reporting unprecedented prices for stock with liveweight prices driving up deadweight prices according to reports from the Livestock Auctioneers Association.

"We have seen record prices being achieved in the last few weeks with livestock markets leading the way in achieving these record-breaking figures," said Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association.

The figures have been confirmed by a recent AHDB/EBLEX report which show beef prices going through the 300p/kg level, 26p or 9% above the same time last year.

Stephen Aitken of Darlington Farmers Auction Mart said: "We are seeing a week on week increase in prices with strong home and export demand. Prices are increasing across prime and fat stock with interest both from Scotland and the south. The demand for red meat from the consumer is high".

The position with cull cows was the same, with a buoyant market, again with prices up week on week.

"Good cows are achieving in excess of £1,000," said Bernie Hutchinson of Barbers Auctioneers, Market Drayton, Shropshire. "We are selling between 300-400 cull cows a week with buyers looking for more stock. We are seeing new buyers, as well as cows coming in from a wider area," he added.

"This is good news for the auction system. It shows that it provides a service both to buyers and sellers, setting a market price in response to supply and demand quickly and efficiently," added Mr Dodds.

The news from the sheep sector is the same. Philip Walton of Longtown Auction Market confirmed the strong demand for hoggs with an active export market. "We are selling strongly into France and overall we are seeing record prices for lambs. Good ewes are also achieving over £100 per head."

"There is no doubt that the liveweight prices being achieved in the markets are dragging up the deadweight prices. We are achieving lamb prices between 235/240p/kg and at our recent sale of over 8,000 lambs the average price was 232p/kg," he added.

The story in the south east is the same, according to Elwyn Davies of Hobbs Parker in Ashford, Kent. "We are seeing unprecedented prices with a buoyant demand both in the home and export market. We are now getting some new season's lambs coming through and they are selling for 50p/kg more than last year. Even last year's lambs are up by 40p/kg".

With the increase in lamb prices being attributed both to a shortage of supply and an increase in demand, the situation with cattle is the same.

Peter Kingwill, also of Hobbs Parker, said, "There are less cattle available compared to this time last year, but there is an increased demand including from some non-traditional European countries. The weaker pound is helping. Due to the way in which the livestock markets are setting the trend, we are seeing some new sellers, particularly those with quality stock. The competition all round is increasing, which is good for everyone. We are even seeing the 5th quarter now worth between £100-£150 per bullock."

Commenting on the situation, Chris Dodds said, "The market speaks for itself, auction marts are leading the way in setting prices and responding to customer demand and providing the best prices to its customers. We have a growing customer base and revitalised competition".


For further information please contact:

Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary, Livestock Auctioneers Association
01697 475 433 / 07885 731 502
[email protected]

Andrew Kendall
01394 610022
[email protected]

Notes to editors:
The Livestock Auctioneers' Association is the national organisation representing auctioneering firms which occupy and run the livestock auction markets of England and Wales. Its members handle the vast majority of all auction sales of farm livestock. The Association is also supported by representatives of the Institute of Appraisers and Auctioneers in Scotland.