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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Over 700,000 livestock sell at H&H's Cumbrian marts

HARRISON & Hetherington sold more than 700,000 head of livestock through its marts last year.

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Scott Donaldson: ‘There may be some uncertainty around but we have had another confident year’

The firm held 600 sales at its auction centres in Carlisle, Lockerbie, Newcastleton, Lazonby, Kirkby Stephen, Middleton-in-Teasdale and Broughton in 2012.

Sales director Scott Donaldson said: “There may be some uncertainty around but we have had another confident year and the busy auction rings have more than kept up with the pace they set in 2011.

“Harrison & Hetherington is a large company with interests in many agricultural areas, and seven marts across north west England and south west Scotland.

“Our performance is a good indicator of the strengths present in the rural economy. The weather is depressing and has affected so many farmers this year and we fully expect that these affects will be seen well into 2013.”

One of the highlights of its year came in February when Limousin bull Fabio sold for a record-breaking 120,000 guineas (£126,000) to Allan Jenkinson in three minutes.

Mr Donaldson added: “In trading terms, there has been an increased interest in pedigree breeds. The finished beef market continues to remain very firm with lots of optimism for 2013. Production in the UK is not increasing, so this really is a case of seeing supply and demand keeping prices steady.”

Lamb prices have not been so keen thanks to increased supply and the resumption of imports from New Zealand, which has only added to the woes of farmers.

“With the poor grazing season, lambs have required supplementary feeding and this has affected the lamb returns significantly,” said Mr Donaldson.

“Other factors from the wider economy have weighed in against farming, including the decline in exports because of the situation in European economies.”

The firm also hosted two major events at Borderway Mart in 2012. Its Agri and Dairy Expos between them attracted around 18,500 people in March and October.

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