Bullock prices up as Continental shortage bites
A shortage of good Continental stock has seen the price of British Friesian bullocks increase by at least €120/hd over the last three months.
George Candler of Kilkenny Marts said the absence of Continental bullocks had resulted in an improved market for Hereford and Angus cattle, and British Friesian stock.
Mr Candler said good square Friesian bullocks were generally making €1.70-1.80/kg three months ago but were now tipping €2/kg.
This equates to an increase of around €120/hd on a 600kg animal.
The pre-Christmas surge in beef demand is continuing to underpin the cattle trade, with strong factory prices driving lively mart sales.
Tighter supplies in the sales rings has resulted in a stronger trade for plainer cattle, out-of-spec bullocks and heifers, and cows, as the factories and wholesale butchers seek to hoover up the available stock.
Factory buyers attributed the lively trade to the continuing strong demand for manufacturing beef. However, they claimed the market for high-value steak cuts remained slow.
A fall-off in the number of good-quality Continental bullocks in the marts has resulted in €2.50-2.60/kg being paid for any fancy lots that come into sales rings.