Trade Talks 'Store Cattle'
In recent weeks we have welcomed an exceptional trade at Frome, as have other markets alike. Buyers are reporting a general shortage of cattle as they are steadier to appear.
In recent weeks we have welcomed an exceptional trade at Frome, as have other markets alike. Buyers are reporting a general shortage of cattle as they are steadier to appear. The only rationale I can give for this is an abundance of silage in clamps coupled with the everlasting headache of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). We have missed several quality consignments this year as a result of bTB restrictions and are encouraging vendors to plan sales around clear test windows. We had a record number of cattle sold in our bTB restricted (orange market) sales in 2016 with 500 cattle sold in our March orange market. It is reassuring that trade for bTB restricted stores is generally in line with normal Friday sales.
Organic store cattle have benefited from an electric trade during recent weeks. Quality organic stores are proving difficult to source, often commanding premiums of £200 to £300 per head on the forward stores.
A recent spurt of grass growth has lifted the trade for younger grazing stores, which seem to be getting dearer every week at present. Quality breeding stock is also keenly sought after with all categories easy to sell.
Business rates have been a hot topic on our board meeting agenda recently and I am sure we are not the only livestock market to be concerned. The new business rates will nearly double for us which adds another dimension to the financial challenges of running a livestock market.
In the store ring we are still not seeing the full effect of the shift towards a lighter carcass weight requirement with heavy continentals continuing to achieve high prices.
The store cattle ring continues to be the best way to market store and breeding stock and, despite the increasing challenges that we face, we are determined to continue to grow our business.
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