Beef producers are losing 10-15p/kg liveweight by forwarding under-finished cattle into prime markets to avoid housing stock and in an eagerness to claim Slaughter Premium, reckons Market Drayton-based auctioneer Bernie Hutchinson of Barbers.
“These cattle are at least 10p/kg off those showing more bloom. Farm assurance is also adding another 5-8p/kg to current values,” he suggests.
A 1950s David Brown DB50D is thought to have smashed all previous records for its type when bidding hit 29,000 at the recent sale of G & R Price’s collection of farm bygones, Bishops Castle, Shropshire.
Auctioneer Howard Pugh of H J Pugh & Co had put forward an estimate of 15-20,000 and described demand as simply “exceptional”.
Prices looked to have firmed at the start of the week with several main Monday and Tuesday marts reporting a lift in averages. Bakewell levelled 1498 lambs at 113.1p/kg, a rise of 6p/kg on the week; a smaller increase also being achieved at Skipton, North Yorks.
Ludlow, Shropshire, saw averages slip marginally – down just 0.5p/kg – with more heavy lambs forward. However, lighter lambs were a stronger trade, according to auctioneer McCartneys.