Shortage rumours boost cattle values

By FWi staff

CATTLE values have strengthened in recent weeks amid talk of a shortage in numbers and higher demand.

Prices at markets around the country firmed yesterday (Monday) with steers averaging 93.21p/kg, heifers 91.79p/kg and young bulls 96.54p/kg.

Auctioneer, Robert Whitelock of Hexham market, Northumberland said trade today (Tuesday) was sharper than last week.

The best heifer made 117.5p/kg liveweight and many others made over £1/kg, said Mr Whitelock.

“One farmer brought 10 heifers to the market today and he made at least £1/kg on eight of them.”

Mr Whitelock said a general shortage of cattle and an increase in demand was attributing to the higher prices.

Cattle need to be well finished and fleshed and then there are plenty of men to buy them, he said.

Although he was reluctant to predict what will happen to values in the coming weeks Mr Whitelock said he thought finished cattle prices would stay up for the next month.

“No one knows about October but November looks as if it will be good.”

I dont think theres the glut there this year and the better prices are reflecting through to the stores which are holding their value, added Mr Whitelock.

He said that confidence was good – those who had sold their finished cattle were re-investing in stores.

Auctioneer Davis Lewis of Mold, Flintshire also said trade was steady. “Values have only fluctuated 3p in the last two months,” he added.

At market on Monday it was the heavy steers that were strongest averaging 96p/kg liveweight while heifers made 92p/kg.

“Everyone seems reasonably confident that values will stay the same or even go dearer,” said Mr Lewis.

Last month buyers had been holding back while they waited to see what happened at the end of the calf processing aid scheme, he added.

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