October 5

Some facts to ponder. The cattle and sheep market update for September issued by AHDB shows beef imports until July of this year were up by 25.1% and exports were down 3.8%. Despite this cattle prices were up 3.3% on the year. The slaughterings were up 4.1%. With sheep UK sheep meat production is up 4.5% and exports down 24%. Imports fortunately were down 2.1%. These figures say it all as to where we are at the current time. Several big firms this week dropped back their cattle prices and ours in the market were dearer. Our buyers are having to compete with a trade determined by cheap imports. Home product is worth more but you can’t push water uphill. In a similar way the open market price for sheep is determined by export and if the currency is against you, it’s against you.

Finished cattle – 271. A really good trade if only people would give us the credit for it. Some lovely cattle on offer selling up to 253.0p/kg but lesser brethren a fantastic price for what they were. Prices were as follows:

Medium steers - Best quality to 213.5p av 209.7p; standard quality to 200.5p av 199p, also rans to 192p; overall average 194.5p.

Heavy steers - Best quality to 226.5p av 213.1p; standard quality to 204.5p av 197.9p; also rans to 192.5p; overall average 198.5p.

Medium heifers - Best quality to 238.5p av 221.6p; standard quality to 204.0p av 201.3p, also rans to 185.5p; overall average 204.2p

Heavy heifers - Best quality to 253p av 226.4p; standard quality to 205.5p av 199.7p; also rans to 190.0p; overall average 206.1p.

Light bulls to 166.5p average 166p, medium bulls to 219.5p average 180.6p, heavy bulls to 215.0p average 186.5p

Barren cows and old bulls – 47. A good firm trade with some nice cows in the entry. FABBL is becoming just as important with barren cows as with clean cattle as certain firms will just not kill non FABBL cows at all. Prices were as follows:

Grade 1 cows to 144.50p av 139.50p, Grade 2 cows to 128.50p av 125.p, Grade 3 cows to 119.50p av 114.92p, Grade 4 cows to 106.50p av 86.97p, Overall average 108.10p

Finished sheep – 2,478

A lot less lambs about. Plenty of buyers and a trade which would be similar to last Monday despite the fact that markets at the end of last week had reported a dramatic drop in price. Prices were as follows:

Standard lambs to 162p av 151.4p, medium lambs to 176p av 154.9p, heavy lambs to 157.5p av 148.6p, overweight lambs to 148p av 140.8p

Export quality lambs sold up to 176p per kilo and averaged 158.6p per kilo and home trade lambs sold up to 152.5p per kilo and averaged 150p per kilo.

Cull Ewes

With lower numbers out nationally a much improved ewe trade. No runs of very strong ewes still mostly larger and plainer sorts better end of ewes sold up to £90 with an overall average of £51.20. Meat was certainly sold at a premium. Cull rams to £96 average £73.15.

Store sale, October 2

Breeding rams – 665. A very big entry for the annual sale of breeding rams and a trade which was selective. It was extremely difficult to produce a situation that was happy for purchaser and vendor alike. The rams were sorted through and many found new homes. The clearance would be as good as any sale reported locally but not as last year. Prices were as follows:

Texel Yearling Rams to £640, £630 (x2), £619.50, £609 (x2), £588, £577, £556, £546, £535

Texel Ram Lambs to £399, £315, £304, £283, £273 (x5), £262 (x5)

Suffolk Yearlings to £703, £420, £378, £367, £357, £315 (x6)

Suffolk Ram Lambs to £325, £262, £205, £199.50

Charollais Yearlings to £504, £493 (x2), £483, £462, £441, £430, £420 (x4)

Charollais Ram Lambs to £399, £315

Blue Faced Leicester Yearlings to £535, £409, £357, £283

Blue Faced Leicester Two Year Olds to £609

Clun Forest Yearlings to £262, £210, £199

Blue Texel Yearlings to £189, £178, £157

North Country Cheviot Yearlings to £336, £278

Berrichon Du Cher Yearlings to £189

Store lambs – 912. A firm trade. No really strong lambs on offer. Medium store lambs to £59 average £52.50, small store lambs to £50 average £46.50, mini stores to £45 average £38.50. Ewe lambs to £80 average £64.50.