Perth sale proves breeders feeling bullish

UK - It might have been extremely cold outside the main auction ring in Perth yesterday, but the trade for Aberdeen-Angus bulls was as hot as it has ever been.
calendar icon 7 February 2007
clock icon 4 minute read
The final average saw the 141 bulls sold return a record average of £4,357 - an increase of £36 on last February with 11 more sold. However, the clearance rate of 73 per cent was quite exceptional for any bull sale.

Speaking at the conclusion of the sale, Ron McHattie, the chief executive of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, commented: "There was a tremendous level of commercial interest with buyers quite willing to pay up to 7,000- 8,000gns for the bulls they wanted. Buyers were also looking for bulls with good performance figures."

Another noticeable feature was the large number of commercial suckler herd owners who were buying Angus bulls for the first time in more than 20 years - one producer from Northumberland acquired seven bulls. The trend appears to be away from continental breeds to the much easier managed Angus cattle.

A full dozen bulls sold for 10,000gns or better. The top price was 25,000gns for the intermediate champion, the May 2005 Blelack Emperor from Neil and Graeme Massie, Blelack, Dinnet, Aberdeenshire. The buyer was John Elliot, Roxburgh Mill, Kelso and this bull will join his widely acclaimed Rawburn herd.

Next best at, 23,000gns, was the March 2005 Chapelton Eventer from Donald Biggar, Chapelton, Castle Douglas. Biggar, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, saw his bull sell to Alex Sanger, Pettycur, Montrose.

South Daylesford Organic farms from Gloucester splashed out big time on two occasions. At 16,000gns, the company took the February 2005 Ballavitchel Orefered Stock from RH & L Quayle from the Isle of Man. Then, at 15,000gns, the same buyers were in action to secure the supreme champion, the May 2005 Galawater Bold King, from Jim Logan Pirntaton, Galashiels. Robert Galloway, from Cardona, Doune, who is the chairman of the Bridge of Allan firm Scotbeef, had another fine day at Perth with a top of 17,000gns. This came for the reserve senior champion, the March 2005 Cardona Edwin, which sold to Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso.

David Ismail, Fordel, Glenfarg, Perth, who has a large pedigree herd, invested 14,000gns in the June 2005 Idvies Fullback from Alistair Fraser, Newton of Idvies, Forfar. Next in line, at 13,000gns, was the senior champion, the March 2005 Penguin Bobby from Bob Lane, Windy Meadow, Edgmond, Shropshire, selling to Ken Pratt, Oldtown, Aberdeen. The Massie family from Blelack, were back among the top prices selling at 11,000gns to Willie Macgregor, Newcairnie, Cupar.

Three bulls sold for 10,000gns. The first came from Alistair Clark, Duncanziemere, Cumnock, Ayr, selling to Hugh Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk. The Massie team sold at the same bid to Charles McCombie, Auchincrieve, Huntly.

Late in the sale, the Massie partnership went to the same valuation to take a young bull from Graham Reid, West Grange, Culross, Fife.

Veteran breeder Willie McLaren from Netherton, Blackford, Auchterarder, was attending his 70th Perth February sale - he was one of the breeders who stuck with the Angus through some grim times. Yesterday his only entry was the last bull through the ring, but this youngster sold for 12,000gns to T O'Brien, Co Kilarney, Eire.

The Beef Shorthorns were also high on quality and enjoyed a fine trade. This is almost entirely down to the fact that commercial breeders now wish to operate with closed herds to minimise disease risks. Their purchases are now mostly restricted to bulls.

The top price in this section was 8,000gns for an entry from Playfair Farms, Morebattle Tofts, Kelso. This one sold to Nick Barrett, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Next best, at 7,000gns, was one from Harry Horrell, Pode Hall, Peterborough. The buyer was James Porter, Old Glenort, Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

The 37 Shorthorn bulls averaged £3,357 - up £404 on last year when 29 changed hands.

Later today, Limousin bulls will come under the hammer. Trade is expected to be sound for good cattle. However, the conclusion as the sale drew to a close yesterday has to be that there is a renewed level of confidence within the beef industry. No claims to be making a fortune, but the omens appear favourable

TheCattleSite News Desk
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