Strong grass growth drives store price rally
Mart prices rise by €40-€100/hd, but bull finishers call for action on factories' 'massive' price cuts
Lively competition among grass finishers has pushed on prices for stores by €40 to €100/hd, despite the continuing concerns over low prices in the beef trade.
Strong grass growth over the last month has driven demand for stock, and mart managers report an increased numbers of buyers at ringside adding a lot more bite in the trade for good quality stock.
There have also been suggestions that both the factory and independent feedlots have been more active for stock over the last fortnight, with intensive finishers looking to restock empty sheds.
George Candler of Kilkenny Mart said the trade for black heifers was particularly brisk with prices generally up 20c/kg and the better lots selling in the 180-200c/kg range.
Strong farmer buying saw 300kg bullocks sell to a top of €3.10/kg at New Ross Mart, with most moving for €2.40-2.80/kg. Bulls were harder to sell and generally made €100/hd under the bullock price.
Mart auctioneer Jim Bushe said bullock prices had increased by close to €100/hd in the last three weeks on the back of improved farmer demand and lower numbers.
An equally lively demand for store heifers saw light heifers generally make €2.20-2.70/kg, with heavier 500kg animals selling for €1.90-2.00/kg.
However, there is still growing unease among mart managers over the uncertainty from the overhang of Brexit on the trade.