Bull weanling trade is upwardly mobile
Given what is happening at factory level, it is surprising that the biggest positive movement at the marts last week was in bull weanling prices. This was especially the case for the lesser quality types, which recorded increases of between 25-50c/kg according to Ringside data.
Granted, it is difficult to compare the previous week as marts were small and just swinging back into action after the Christmas break. But for the moment, when it comes to bulls, we will be forgiven for making the most of any chink of positive news.
In any event all the bulls, apart from the top 25pc in the 300-400kg bracket, showed upward movement with the general run up by 10-20c/kg. The single section going the opposite way were back by an average of 6c/kg in a price range of €2.10-2.50/kg.
Lighter lots under 300kg were selling for €2.25-2.75/kg. Despite the significant increase, the poorer types were still moving in a range from €1.75-1.95/kg. The better weanling heifers sold for €2.30-2.80/kg while €1.80-2.00 was the run for the poorer lots.
Steers had a mixed week with the top quality types in all weight brackets enjoying a good trade. A range of €2.00-2.50/kg bought most of the nicer lots under 500kg with €2.10-2.55/kg being paid for the heavier lots. The bottom quarter were selling for €1.30-1.65/kg.
The heifer trade was sluggish. Similar to the steers, the nicer lots were generally making from €2.00-2.50/kg. Lesser types made from €1.65-1.90/kg.
With the calving season about to start in earnest, Friesian bull calves are selling between €70-200/hd.
While some freshly calved dairy heifers have made up to €2,000 each, a lot of the dairy cows and heifers are selling in the €1,000-1,500 range. Sucklers due to calve shortly were making from €1,100-1,700.