The beef trade has eased slightly, with more cattle available on farm. There is a lot of Angus cattle available, probably more than the market needs.
With an extremely positive milk price, cull dairy cows are in short supply. With the sharp rise in the value of Sterling likely to hamper exports and make imports more attractive, expect cow and processing beef prices to come under pressure.
There is sustained downward pressure at the moment on the finished lamb trade with prices easing on standard weights by almost 20p to 380-385p/kg and this can be attributed to these four main factors.
- Huge lamb volumes are coming out of the main upland areas of Scotland and Northern England and the associated lack of abattoir capacity is struggling to keep up.
- The significant strengthening in the value of Sterling relative to the Euro, which has eased from a peak of 92.6 at the end of August to 88.2. As rough rule of thumb, 1p on the currency is 5p on a lamb.
- The weather on some wetter units is forcing some producers to offload lambs before they are ready, saturating the live rings with under finished lambs which fail to make spec. pulling the price back further.
- Cash flow on farm is tighter than one might expect within the sheep sector, this is possibly keeping a lid on store and breeding sheep values, which perhaps are not as buoyant as everyone thought.
We anticipate the trade to remain flat for the next month until numbers ease, with the medium-term outlook more positive. There is a little more bite for light lambs this week. Orders are coming up with as little notice as 36 hours, thank you to producers who have worked to meet these. If you have lights available please let your fieldsman know the type, fat cover and the weights as this info is critical if we are to keep buyers on board.
With Blackie store prices disappointing, please consider feeding lambs in the 30-34kg range, target November, December marketing and aim for a minimum weight of 36kg live. 25-30kg stores are longer keep and think about growing them out for Easter.
Organic cattle are easing in value with cattle in the last week achieving base prices of 495-500p. Organic cattle numbers are plentiful. Organic lambs are coming forward in big numbers now. Dependent on the lamb spec, some are better being sold conventionally. Organic stores available.
For Sale & Wanted
Ewe Lambs:- Suffolk x, Scotch Mule, Texel x Lleyn, Aberfield x runners, Lleyn x
Gimmers: SC cheviots, Cheviot drafts, Highlanders, Suffolk x Highlanders
Store lambs, Mules wedders, Cheviots, Blackie, Lleyn X, Organic store also.
Herd of suckler cows & calves available, heifers with calves at foot.
Store cattle available and wanted.