Confidence remains particularly strong in the cattle trade with Scottish base prices around 385-388p/kg. Large numbers are very hard to find and all of the Scottish Processors are competing very hard for loads of cattle with Angus now through 415p/kg and likely to go further still. Where the trade goes in the medium term is anyone’s guess but finishers are at last making good margins, making up for the losses of last year.
Cull cows numbers remain well below last year’s levels with beef producers in our trading areas looking to maintain or increase cow numbers. If you have a good supply of breeding heifers coming forward now looks like a good time to sell off older, late calving or problem cows as the cull cow trade is very good on the back of huge demand for processing beef.
We have an upland sheep producer with surplus in bye and hill grazing suitable for hill cows or Autumn calver’s. Please contact the office for further details.
Lambs in the last week have sold between 470-500p/kg base which looks a very good trade compared to other routes to market. Producers are generally speaking, right on top of their lambs with the majority taking them down to 38kg. When selling at this weight we would recommend that producers ensure they have plenty of cover to ensure they kill out well. If you need advice on selecting lambs please don’t hesitate to contact your local fieldsman. Many producers are reporting rapidly increasing worm burdens on the back of the wet weather following the prolonged warm, dry spell.
Looking forward, the trade has eased back for the start of next week on the back of a slightly stronger pound and prices will kick off 30p back with some processors making major cuts in kill requirements. We would anticipate a levelling in the trade as producers ease back and look to put on weight in order to maintain gross prices. Last year, lambs next week were achieving 395-415p/kg so the general feeling would be not to over-react and keep selling lambs as they come to finish. After all, main crop lambs coming off grass will still be achieving high £75-85, well ahead of most producers budgets. Please make sure you shut your lambs off feed before uplift.
The magical 500p/kg ceiling has finally been shattered for Organic cattle, with organic producers delighted with current prices. More needed! Organic lambs in the last week to 510p/kg, but in truth prospects for the coming weeks are limited in line with national trends as the trade re-aligns as more lambs come to finish.