19 January 2001

Export market for pedigree beef beckons

AN EXPORT market for UK-bred pedigree beef cattle is just around the corner and will be driven by stock that need more than just good breeding and impressive looks to woo foreign buyers.

Commenting two weeks before the start of this springs Perth bull sales on Feb 4-8, United Auctions rostrum supremo David Legatt says figures and performance data will be a very important consideration in future breeding stock exports.

"No one knows how long it will be before the export market is open, but its not that far away. When it opens up I believe performance figures will be high on the list of buyers priorities.

"That is what the world market wants. It may not mean everything to people in the UK, but anyone who travels abroad and talks to breeders will realise that when the export trade resumes it will be stock that can prove superior genetic potential that will attract interest," says Mr Legatt.

The continuing trend towards spring calving suckler herds continues to impact positively on the Perth trade with bull buyers more inclined to invest in February rather than October.

With confidence creeping back into the livestock sector, vendors are anticipating a good trade. The offices at United Auctions report plenty of catalogue enquiries from farmers who put-off buying a bull last October.

The hammer will fall on the first deal on Feb 5, when the sale starts with 168 Aberdeen Angus bulls followed by 40 Beef Shorthorn sires. There are also 60 Aberdeen Angus females on offer with drafts from Blelack, Rawburn, Lochdhu, Littletown and the dispersal of the Beltie herd.

A total of 221 Limousin bulls are entered, plus eight Belgian Blues and 18 Blonde dAquitaines. Simmental sires on offer number 142, and the week ends with 386 Charolais bulls on sale on Feb 8.

&#8226 Last years Perth bull sale in February attracted the highest price paid for a pedigree bull during 2000, when Aberdeen Angus bull Jeremy Eric of Bridgefoot sold for 28,000gns to Alastair Fraser, Forfar, Angus.

The bull was consigned by Sandy Fordyce, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. &#42