Scottish stores rising, but fear of a March glut

12 February 1999

Scottish stores rising, but fear of a March glut

STORE cattle prices continue to firm in Scotland, but there is talk of a downward blip in early March when animals come out of their retention period.

Another factor keeping a lid on trade is the tight straw and silage supplies in some areas. At an electronic sale of fodder last Friday at Thainstone near Aberdeen, inside-stored barley straw averaged £9.15/bale, with hay at £14 and silage £9.60.

Last Fridays average at Thainstone was 102.7p/kg, up 3.5p on the week but still 1.2p short of the same time last year. Heifers at 82.4p were up 2.5p on the week but still almost 8p down on 1998.

At Ayr, Jim Craig reported that steers on white forms were up to 115p/kg with the overall bullock average at £1/kg. Heifers, creeping upwards, were at 80p/kg.

Supply and demand were nicely balanced at the moment, said Mr Craig, though he worried about a big increase in numbers at the beginning of March. But big numbers of black-and-white stores had been taken out by the calf processing scheme.

Castle Douglas auctioneer Robin Anderson reported that Mondays sale of bullocks averaging £1/kg. This was up 10p on early January and almost exactly the same as at the corresponding sale last year.

Heifers, at 80p/kg, were also at the same level as 1998. "The price rise has been gradual and modest and much in line with the finished price and numbers plus feed supplies will dictate whether or not the trend continues," said Mr Anderson. &#42

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