Livestock auction© Tim Scrivener

Most livestock auctioneers expect this year’s trade to be similar to or better than in 2014, a survey has found.

About 18% of auctioneers said the livestock trade would improve in 2015, while 76% believed it would be the same.

The research by the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) also found its members were split almost half and half over prospects for the whole farming industry.

“Any young people out there looking for a promising career in a confident and growing sector should consider the opportunities livestock markets offer.” Chris Dodds, LAA 

Of those surveyed, 52% said things were getting better, while 46% believed things were getting worse.

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LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds said he was encouraged by the “cautious confidence” shown by auctioneers.

Marts are each employing nine full-time and 24 part-time staff on average, while two-thirds reported they had taken on more employees in the past year.

Just under half of auctioneers surveyed said they would expand their team again in 2015.

“Any young people out there looking for a promising career in a confident and growing sector should consider the opportunities livestock markets offer,” Mr Dodds said.

The LAA’s survey was completed by 50 auctioneers, employing more than 1,600 staff between them.