Market Reports (February 2017)

Friday 24th February 2017

Beef

The beef cattle trade is in the mid to high 350’s at the moment and on reflection prices are reasonable at the moment, with demand mixed. As an example some processors are lifting cattle on a weeks notice whilst others are already taking bookings for the middle of April. Angus are around 370p.

Black and White bulls are in the region of £3kg for O grades and anything with dairy blood in it is almost worth more south of the border in England than in Scotland due to high demand for processing beef.

AHDB are reporting that UK exports are 10% up on the year which is great news and explains why there is so much increased demand from England for beef. Cows are a stand on broadly speaking, demand remains very firm and this can be explained by the amount of mince on supermarket shelves.

Sheep

As in previous weeks the hogget trade is not overly buoyant.  Base prices are in the region of 360-365p for standard weights at the present time, with light weights 30p behind. Good in spec hogget’s, 17-21kg are in demand but light weights, super heavies and anything lacking cover are a tougher to move. Looking back at Januarys figures, numbers were up about 50% on the year and as we approach Pancake day, Februarys numbers are almost double last years, this can be explained by the later season and the larger 2016 lamb crop.

Looking forward, the main opportunity to sell hogget’s when there will be increased retail demand in the next two months is Mothers Day on the 26th March and Easter on the 16th of April so get those dates in your diary. Demand is looking like it could possibly pick up in the next 10 days as the processors start gearing up for Mothers Day, so if you have any hogget’s left please get in touch and consider marketing hogget’s which are at finish now, please do not keep them for Easter if they are going to blow out of spec.

There is no doubt that expensive store lambs may not be leaving any margin this year but sensibly bought Blackie and Cheviot hill lambs bought last Autumn are doubling their money.

Organics

Organic beef remains at the same buoyant level as in previous weeks. More needed. Organic hogget’s are a ballpark 400p/kg, 25p over conventional prices. We expect this premium level to be maintained right through now as organic hogget numbers are on the slide.