Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury is drawing in business from wide area as sales boom at livestock market

The livestock market in the Shropshire border town of Shrewsbury is enhancing its reputation as a top UK centre for all classes of store and breeding stock as demand for UK beef and lamb has boomed this spring, bosses have said.

Jonny Dymond

Shrewsbury Auction Centre attracts vendors and buyers from across the Welsh borders and the wider geographical regions.

Stock is travelling from the Welsh coast and Northamptonshire, as well as all counties in between, attracting buyers from as far afield as Yorkshire and Somerset, bosses at the market said.

The market operates fortnightly on Thursdays with seasonal entries from 200-500 cattle and 400-2,000 sheep.

In a recent store cattle auction, prices for Non-Farm Assured cattle peaked at £1,930 or 346pk for steers and £1,920 321pk for heifers.

The auction also offers a unique “Non TB tested” store cattle section which topped at £1,245 (485kg) for 20mo Aberdeen Angus x Cattle.

The auction’s ewe and lamb sales are in full swing at the moment with quality outfits fetching up to £297 for doubles and ewes with a single lamb at £258.

Halls senior auctioneer, Jonny Dymond explained that the current boom in demand was being fuelled by a shortage of livestock in the UK following years of tightening margins coupled with consumers increased awareness of quality and food miles.

He pointed out that there is significant premium for quality with the difference in price for top and lesser quality widening.

Mr Dymond said: “Shrewsbury is a first-class facility in a very accessible location for farmers throughout the UK making it an easy choice for both buying and selling.

“With the finished beef market now regularly exceeding the £2,000 barrier we are seeing more and more competition from buyers resulting in high prices which are appealing to evermore new vendors both locally and further afield.”

Mr Dymond added “After years of suckler producers cutting back due to the lack of profitability we are now on the point where a shortage of barren cows has sent the price to record highs, tempting farmers to sell those which are in full production, which will in turn reduce the supply of prime beef next year.”

He said: “The result of all this could be that prices increase even further.”

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