18 August 1995

No dip in trade for store cattle

STORE cattle are meeting a steady trade, with any price fluctuations reflecting variations in quality. In the week ending Aug 9, prices stood at 119.8p/kg, almost identical to 12 months earlier.

"Despite expecting trade to dip, it hasnt altered much in the past six weeks," says Peter Dennis at Hallworthy. The buoyant finished beef trade is a big factor in supporting values, he suggests.

Numbers, too, have been fairly constant at Hallworthy, although well above last years levels. "The 300 head we saw last Friday was probably double the entry at the same time in 1994," says Mr Dennis.

But elsewhere numbers have been down as farmers concentrate on harvest. "Entries wont rise until next month when the cattle feeders have finished harvesting," says Norwich auctioneer, Michael Gamble.

He, too, says the "dearer-than-expected" finished trade is reflected in store prices.

Prices at Paisley, meanwhile, are said by auctioneer Robbie Wilson to be "about what we expect at this time of year", with the better bullocks reaching the 150-160p/kg-mark.

"As to where the trade goes from now, that depends mainly on the weather," reckons John Hughes at Lancaster. "If it rains we could see prices take off; if it stays dry then they will almost certainly ease." &#42