Trade Talk - Rod Cordingley

25th November 2015

I am tired of hearing about bumper grain yields, and I am sure anyone else who is in the thick of a blackgrass problem would agree.  However there is no doubt the grain stores in Yorkshire are bulging this year.  

The Vale of York and Ryedale are renowned feeding areas, with store cattle and store lambs being brought in from all over the country to take advantage of our winter feeding stocks, and auctioneers welcome a bountiful grain harvest.

However store cattle have eased very slightly in the last week which slightly contradicts this theory.  Whilst the main suckler sales are still to come, vendors should not be blind to the very tight margins on which cattle finishers have operated in the last few months, with a very tight supply of store cattle.  Faced with a few more numbers in the markets as the summer grass runs out and decisions need to be made by graziers over whether to feed or sell, finishers are able to be a little more selective in the store ring.  Cash flow on many arable farms is not easy at present, and with grain and oilseed in the shed, and bills coming in for inputs for next year’s crops, some buyers will be cautious with the numbers that they buy.  

The prime ring has seen a relatively consistent trade over the last month, with the best young bulls last Monday at 214p per kilo to average 191p, and continental heifers to 262p per kilo to average 226p.  Christmas Fatstock Shows are now only two months away with the hope of increased trade as demand firms.  However forward stores being bought now for a 3 month bed and breakfast on a finishing unit will be facing the trade of early 2016 which is perhaps less certain.  

The demand for well fleshed prime lambs could also benefit from the current corn trade.  Last time corn was below £100 per tonne finishers took advantage putting large numbers through a short term indoor creep feeding regime to gain flesh.  Last Monday, finished lambs averaged £68 per head, but the very best topped at £103 per head showing a good premium for quality.

I hope you will see buyers from Yorkshire in your store ring in the next month or two buying stock to take home and feed.  Please remember that we have to sell that stock in the slaughter ring to make a profit if you want to see them next year.

Rod Cordingley

York Auction Centre

Malton Livestock Auctioneers