The Directors and Staff at Farm Stock (Scotland) Limited would like to wish all Members and Producers a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2017!
The cattle trade remains in a cheery state with supplies reasonable and demand moderate, far better accordingly than the lamb trade. Finishers seem pleased with returns and with prices in the mid 360’s for Scottish R4L’s, everyone is hopefully making a turn.
Cows remain a decent trade and numbers are slightly easier reflecting the time of the year, more are wanted for the New Year when the trade usually picks up. Please let us know at the earliest opportunity if you have any for the first week of January so we can get booking made before the shut down as not all processors are operating next week.
Important: Please can producers let us know if your cattle/cows are registered as non UK when booking them in.
The lamb trade continues its seasonal malaise with large numbers continuing to come forward for the time of the year. Prices remain in the region of 360-365p/kg base. Demand continues to be very mixed with the processors complaining that retailers want nothing but legs of lamb. Expect to see big promotions on lamb racks and chops in January as stocks in chills and on shelves are cleared for fresh product.
We do expect there to be improved demand for hogget’s once we get into Mid-January but there are no firm guarantees at this stage.
Defra has confirmed lamb numbers are up 200000 head across the UK (2%). Looking ahead to next year, the UK breeding flock heading into tupping is predicted to be also 2% larger which could potentially in theory lead to a large lamb crop in 2017, but obviously a lot can happen between now and next summer. Please see the graph below.
Once again, the organic cattle trade remains positive with base prices varying between 405-420p/kg. Demand remains good from a range of outlets. What a fantastic run we have had. In contrast to the conventional lamb trade there is still good demand for organic lamb, especially from further south, with prices varying from 380-390p/kg. More needed.