By James Garner

ONE of the countrys leading auction houses, United Auctions, has announced that it will no longer be holding live prime cattle sales.

The auctioneer has decided that it can serve its clients needs better by buying stock direct off farms for various outlets, says its chief executive, David Danson.

“The live ring will remain very important for selling store and pedigree cattle. But the focus of our live cattle business from now on will be procurement.”

Robert Forster, chief executive of the National Beef Association, says “If one auction mart company does this it is not a disaster, but if every prime stock sale is made this way, then it will be difficult to know where to pitch the price.

“The deadweight price has been terrible recently at 150p/kg, but until there are auction markets no one knows what the real price is.”