‘Electric trade’ as Thainstone stores hit £1,560

Nationwide demand and a buoyant beef price made for a tremendous trade throughout at Thainstone’s summer show and sale of store cattle on Friday (14 July).

Buyers from across Scotland and into Yorkshire and England produced eager bids for 926 stores, pushing bullock prices 11.3p/kg up on the year and seeing heifers 22.2p/kg dearer.

Simmental and Charolais cattle once again proved popular, with auctioneer Tim McDonald noting more of a presence of Limousin-cross and native-bred cattle.

See also: Beef price helping resilient dairy trade

Thainstone champion

Thainstone’s summer champion was a 534kg Limousin-cross bullock from D Smith, Turriff

Topping bullock trade at £1,560 was a 768kg Simmental-cross from Netherton, Glenlivet, and a 394kg Charolais-cross at 307.1p/kg from Welton Creuchies, Alyth.

Heifers hit £1,510 for a £722kg Simmental-cross, also from Netherton, and a 396kg Charolais-cross from Welton Creuchies at 290.4p/kg.

Twelve bulls topped at 211.8p/kg for a 340kg Limousin from Backhill of Crimond, Keithhall, and grossed at £1,140 for a 648kg Limousin from Iriewells, Udny.

Overall champion on the day was a 534kg Limousin-cross bullock from D Smith, The Byre, Sunnyhill, Turriff, which hit £1,360 to Backmuir Livestock Ltd, Backmuir, Keith.

In reserve and realising £1,380 to JP and P Sim, Kincraig, Brechin, was another Limousin-cross bullock from J Fraser and Son, Lethen Mains, Nairn.

“We had phenomenal demand for everything,” auctioneer Tim McDonald told Farmers Weekly. “All classes were in good demand.”

He said the trend for smaller carcasses to suit processor specification was helping throughput and driving demand, with more numbers needed each year to keep finishers in cattle.

“Many finishers are needing more cattle each year as they are being finished sooner at the 400-420kg mark. Ten years ago we were seeing finishers hit carcass weights of 460-480kg but they can’t do that anymore. We have to produce what the market wants.”

An abundance of grass had helped trade, with people looking to fill up parks and manage grassland with store cattle, he added.

“There’s now a summer gap to fill before people take cattle off grass around September time. We are forecasting around 250 to 300 stores this week.

“Simmental and Charolais cattle remain popular in Aberdeenshire but much more Limousin is being seen now as well as Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorns from people breeding replacements.”

(Aberdeen and Northern Marts)

Frome steers to £1,348

Named-sire and farm assured Angus sparked interest and saw strong values at Frome on the same day, with a strong steer from RH and CM Johnston, Mappowder, Dorset, topping at £1,348.

Other strong prices were hit by young steers, with a 15-month-old grossing £960 for J Wareham, Shepton Mallett, while RM Seare and Son saw prices to £825 and Andy Neill hit £770.

Stronger Angus steers then made £1,230 from G Read and Son and £1,215 from DH Wilkinson and Son.

Forward British Blue steers around the two-year mark hit £1,315 from EN RG and MJ Ratcliffe, Harescombe, who also saw a Hereford at £1,180.

Heifers topped at £1,100 with a 22-month British Blue from RI Geddes and Partners, Dorchester, followed by a Geddes Hereford at £1,080 on a day which saw Herefords “few and far between”.

A shortage of continental heifers was noted, while forward Angus, Hereford and Friesian heifers were also scarce.

(From Livestock Auctioneers Ltd)