Viewpoint: Hot prices of 'four-legged lawn mowers' spells trouble
Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30
Are the prices being paid for store cattle sustainable?
Well the answer to that question has to be no if conversations with a number of people involved in the trade are to be believed.
A few well-known livestock auctioneers I talked to over the past week all expressed concerns at the prices being paid for store cattle at the moment.
While not wishing to dismiss the need for the sellers to turn a few euro on their stock, all of those I spoke to questioned the wisdom of those doing the buying.
One man in the midlands said farmers at ringside had been "brave to the point of crazy" over the last month.
He admitted that cattle prices in the mid-east of the country had been helped by the activities of stud farm buyers but he said the under-bidders to the bloodstock concerns were, more often than not, ordinary beef farmers.
"We've had some very flashy prices paid in the mart over the last fortnight or three weeks. We had 300kg heifers making over €3.20/kg.
"You'd have to ask yourself how farmers hope to make a return on those sorts of prices," one livestock auctioneer commented.