At the other end of the weight spectrum the 350-399kg light heifer is not having the best time of it. Last week her average price of €2.23/kg was 27kg below the €2.50/kg paid in late February/early March.
Turning to the bullock trade, prices last week eased back on average by between 2-4c/kg. The Ringside table for last week shows that on average your 300-399kg animal, at €2.16/kg is only 6c/kg better off than he was two months ago.
The 400-499kg bullock is unchanged from two months ago at €2.20/kg, while the 500-599kg animal is 7c/kg better off at €2.19/kg. I doubt that additional €35-42/hd even paid for his feed.
The 600kg+ bullock is actually 1c/kg on average worse off at €2.14/kg than he was two months ago. The Ringside table for last week shows that on average your 300-399kg animal, at €2.16/kg is only 6c/kg better off than he was two months ago.
The 400-499kg bullock is unchanged from two months ago at €2.20/kg, while the 500-599kg animal is 7c/kg better off at €2.19/kg.
I doubt that additional €35-42/hd even paid for his feed. The 600kg+ bullock is actually 1c/kg on average worse off at €2.14/kg than he was two months ago.
Noel Corcoran reported that cattle prices were up by €40-50/hd as this very big sale saw the spring trade finally take off in east Cork. Sample prices include €2.05-2.13/kg given for a 470-560kg Aberdeen Angus with €2.30/kg clicked by a 450kg Charolais.The big turnout of calves saw Friesian bulls suitable for shipping make from €130-480/hd. Other breeds included Hereford bulls that sold from €300-350/hd, while suitable Angus and Hereford Heifers sold from €250-300/hd.
While some at the counter complained that “bullocks over 450kg were a rob” they nonetheless signed the cheques that confirmed the 400-500kg bullock was averaging at €2.40/kg. At the top of the market was an April 2016 born 495kg Charolais X who made €2.89/kg. Heifers in the same weight bracket sold at an average of €2.43/kg while a 560kg Limousin made €2.83/kg. Moving to the dry cows, the excellent run of prices continued with a 10-year-old 990kg Charolais topping the pops at €2.23/kg.
Nelius McAulliffe rated proceedings here “remarkably good considering the weather”. Neils reported the general run in yearling Hereford and Angus heifers as making from €2.00-2.20/kg as farmer buyers with an eye to possibly supplying feedlots later in the year hoovered up.
Ronan O’Connor noted that the better bullock was a flyer especially once you went above 500kg. However, the plainer bullock under that 500kg cut-off point was in trouble as €1.40-1.50/kg was the value the market put on the trickier Friesian. Against that, if those same Friesians happened to be over 500kg and of better conformation, €1.90-2.00/kg was the price of them. While the shorter keep animal is attractive, Ronan pointed out that “it takes €50 to change a bullock”.
The good quality animal sold well at the Carlow mart whereas that lesser bullock mentioned above also found the going tough here. Friesian type forward bullocks sold from €1.75/kg with Hereford and Angus types making from €1.90-2.10/kg. Among the lighter stores Angus and Herefords made from €1.80-2.20/kg, while your light continental made from €2.20-2.75/kg. Beef and forward heifers sold from €1.95-2.25/kg, while your plainer store heifer was easier by €10-15/hd. The general run of store prices however was from €2.20-2.60/kg with the tops making €2.80/kg.
This evening sale saw a good turnout of stock and a trade to match. In the bull weanling section 345-400kg Charolais sold from €2.37-2.58/kg. Among the weanling heifers was a 255kg Limousin who made €2.39/kg, while €2.86/kg was where the hammer fell on a 210kg Belgian Blue. Trade for cull cows saw a 745kg Charolais hit the top price of €1.96/kg.
There is an attraction in buying bigger numbers together when you’re at a mart. That is once your satisfied they are all good enough. Take those ten Herefords; 535kgs at €2.20/kg add them to the six 520kg Charolais you got for €2.44/kg earlier, that’s 16 bullocks. Throw in those three lighter 435kg Aberdeen Angus at €2.22/kg and that’s the lorry full.
After that it’s time for a relaxing cup of tea in the canteen and a read of the Farming Independent — job done.