Cattle prices surge as factories vie for stock - Further rises forecast as shortage drives ‘fierce competition’
Factory buyers have binned weight and age penalties and upped prices as they battle to secure cattle supplies.
Up to 425c/kg for heifers and 410-415c/kg for steers was paid by factories yesterday. This is a lift of 10c/kg or €35 per animal on last week, but agents were still struggling to secure sufficient numbers.
Fierce competition for cattle has also resulted in lucrative deals being done for cows and for overage and overweight bullocks and heifers — animals that “were not wanted in times of plenty”, as one industry source described them.
O-grade bullocks over 30 months were bought this week for 400c/kg flat, while 390c/kg was paid for P- grade animals. Meanwhile, good-quality continental fat cows have topped €1,800 in the marts on the back of buoyant demand from factory agents and finishers.
New Ross Mart auctioneer Jim Bushe described the trade for continental cows on Saturday as “cruel dear”.
A 600kg red Limousin topped the sale, making €1,500 or €2.50/kg, but he said over €2/kg was freely available.
Similar prices were on offer in Roscommon Mart where an 850kg Charolais cow sold for €1,820.
Big prices are also being offered for plainer suckler cows, and those from the dairy herd.