Bombshell for livestock men as €100/hd wiped off cattle prices
Double blow for farmers as values for sheep also plummet
A month-long price slide has wiped up to €100/hd off cattle prices in the marts and almost double that at the factories.
Livestock farmers suffered a double blow this week as the sheep trade also took a battering after a price collapse in Britain.
A €5/hd cut in lamb prices at the factories had an immediate knock-on effect at the marts, as prices fell by €10/hd.
The price slump has come at a critical time just before many of the annual weanling sales kick off around the country.
One of the first of the weanling sales this year at Castleisland saw a reduced entry and a significant fall in prices.
"Farmers can't believe how much prices have come back by in the last three weeks," said Castleisland Mart manager, Richard Harnett.
R-grade weanlings averaged €1.80-1.90/kg, while the best types were making €2.20-2.75/kg.
"The entry is back by about 15pc, and the €3/kg that the good weanlings were getting last year is not there. The seller is totally dependent on the live-shipper because there's an anti-bull attitude among farmer buyers which has affected the trade very badly," said Mr Harnett.