The cattle and sheep trade were both buoyant
Optimism was a recurring theme throughout UK auction marts this week with livestock selling well across the board.
Dairy cows in particular were selling well, with cattle numbers in short supply, according to Sedgemoor market managing partner Robert Venner.
“There is a brighter trade. It is all related to milk prices and there is more optimism,” he said.
But the good feeling had also extended to the rest of the mart.
“For store cattle, the best end are selling well, sucklers are still selling well although they are off the peak we saw in late spring, calves are selling well. With sheep, they are selling well all the way through.”
Lawrie and Symington auctioneer Brian Ross said there was a ‘really strong trade’ at the moment for prime lambs, which were selling about 15p/kg up on the same time last year.
“We have actually sold 18 per cent more lambs than last year,” he said.
“Currency has a lot to do with it, giving a boost to exports.”
Since the result of last year’s EU referendum, lamb prices have benefited from a fall in sterling. Prices have started to fall back in recent weeks, but Mr Venner said this was mainly due to seasonal trends.
“Relatively, it is still a good trade. It is still good money for July,” he said.
In the cattle rings, Lawrie and Symington had also seen a buoyant beef trade which Mr Ross attributed to the currency not favouring importers.
He agreed the mood around the marts at the moment was optimistic.
“I think there is still a lot of pessimism regarding Brexit and the effect it is going to have on the sector in the longer term. But the short-term is positive," he added.
“Whether that will translate into the breeding sheep when we start selling at the end of August, nobody knows."