The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Trade Talk - Rob Meadmore

15th September 2015

My name is Rob Meadmore and I am an associate auctioneer with Brightwells who operate Hay-on-Wye, Builth and Rhayader markets as well as being partners in Hereford market. Brightwells also conduct auctions of plant and machinery, vehicles, both modern and classic, horses of every description, furniture and houses as well as offering a range of professional services. 

When I first attempted to write my trade talk, it was in the dark days of August when demand for prime lambs has been very steady and all involved were more than concerned. Fortunately since then it would appear that the supply of imported lamb has dried up and all the firms we serve have become more active, with our most recent sales resulting in the bigger sheep being sold from £70 to £80, in fact in front of 2014 prices. Added to this we have a Muslim festival in late September and as we always seem to have our share of ram lambs in Wales, we should be able to cater for this demand. 

All summer long, I like all auctioneers have enjoyed a buoyant cull sheep demand, and even if the prime lamb sale is subdued, it is amazing to see how much more animated the same purchasers become in the cull sections. 

Our breeding sheep season got off to a good start on Friday 11th September, when we conducted our Welsh mule sale, which bought nearly 12000 top quality sheep to the Royal Welsh Showground, resulting in a top price of £212 and an average of £136 for yearling ewes down on £10 on the year. With ewe lambs reaching £152 and averaging £92 again down £5 on the 2014 sale. Every week for a month we will hold sales of Beulah, Welsh and hardier ewes of all ages at our three centres in Mid-Wales. 

Although expectations are not high, we offer ewes to suit every taste and pocket, and we are fortunate enough to have a customer base that extends all over the United Kingdom. I envisage that breeding ewes will be around £10 less than last year with ewe lambs down slightly more. 

One encouraging area is store cattle with a recent auction bringing a similar number forward to the previous year of mainly strong continental bred animals providing a top price of £1405 and several lots between £1250 and £1350. Unfortunately against this is the continuing saga of T.B and an ever 

It pays to be an optimist in this job and I consider myself fortunate to work in this wonderful area of Mid-Wales, with a first class bunch of both vendors and purchasers. Grass is the most easily grown product in this part of the world and with that grass comes livestock. I do believe that although every marketing system may have its faults, live weight sales still offers the most advantages to both buyer and seller.