13 October 1995

Confidence on up in calf trade

SUCKLED calf sales are well underway – and prices are up on last year.

Confidence is running high, according to auctioneer Brian Rogerson at Hexham, who saw the offering of Charolais cross sucklers average £585 last Friday.

This marked an improvement of £53 on the year among the steers and £57 for the heifers.

"The beef trade throughout September was better than it has been for a long, long time," he says. And the good arable harvest has also stimulated demand.

With another three or four weeks of the main sales to run, prices look set to hold firm, he predicts. "There will be a lot of good suckled calves coming forward across the country over the next few weeks."

At Oswestry, meanwhile, auctioneer John Brereton says he has seen a "good, steady trade". Last week the autumn sale there levelled steers at 135.7p/kg and heifers at 127.7p/kg. "The quality of the entries has been high despite the dry weather," he says. "And the breeding of the stock on offer is also good."

And at Wooler, where the recent two-day offering of Charolais cross animals saw a new record price set for the market, auctioneer Scott Donaldson says that the rise in the beef trade at the same time as the suckled calf sales was an important factor in lifting prices (see picture above).

Stronger cattle have been plentiful at Wooler. Steers at about 450kg, and heifers at about 400kg have been particularly sought after, says Mr Donaldson. &#42