By Alec Ross

Following reports on forthcoming UK trade deals with Canada and Mexico, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon has raised concerns around the negotiations.

Writing to Mark Spencer MP, Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Ms Gougeon points out that the Westminster Government’s own economic modelling suggests that Brexit will lead to a 4.9% contraction of UK GDP. “These deals,” she stated, “will not compensate for loss of trade resulting from Brexit and will adversely impact agriculture and the semi-processed food sectors. Our agri-food producers are already fearful that they will be undercut by cheaper produce, often made to lower standards. Our high welfare standards should be protected and enhanced in these new trade deals, and I therefore implore the UK Government to negotiate a FTA that protects both standards and domestic producers”.


Harrison & Hetherington sold 99 clean cattle, 51 cast cows, 1,355 prime hoggs and 452 cast sheep at St Boswells yesterday. 30 bullocks averaged 293p/kg and sold to 320p/kg, while 65 heifers averaged 297p/kg and sold to 334p/kg. 48 cast cows averaged 219p/kg and sold to 297p/kg and a top price £1,970/head, while 1,355 hoggs were 23p/kg up on the week at 250p/kg or £111/head and sold to £171 for texels and 314p/kg for Beltexes. 452 cast sheep averaged £124/head and sold to £177 for a Texel. Heavy ewes averaged £89/head with lighter ewes selling to £105/head.

Prime heifers at Carlisle jumped by an enormous 49p/head on the week to average 316p/kg and sell to 368p/kg. Beef bred and dairy bred bulls were virtually unchanged at an average of 265p/kg and 218p/kg respectively, while cast cows met a mixed trade with beef cows rising slightly on the week and dairy cows dropping by 7p/kg to average 165p/kg and selling to 247p/kg. Hoggs rose sharply to average 279p/kg, up 24p/kg on the week (SQQ). Hill ewes sold to £127/head for a Jacob and averaged £63/head, while lowland ewes averaged £105/head and sold to £185/head for a Texel.

Lawrie & Symington sold 20 prime cattle and 67 cast cows at Lanark yesterday. Beef bullocks averaged 306p/kg, a rise of 6p/kg on the week, and sold to 322p/kg for a Limousin. Cast beef and dairy cows were mostly unchanged on the week at 201p/kg and 181p/kg respectively.

Prime hoggets averaged 261p/kg (267p/kg SQQ), rising 26p/kg on the week, and sold to 332p/kg.

Cast ewes rose £5/head to average £78/head and sold to £250 for a Texel.