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Sunday 19 August 2018

Bullock prices take a tumble while heifers rise again

Pictures and Prices from Ballymahon Mart

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 552
Weight 430K
DOB 7/8/16
Sex Heifer
Breed CHX
Price €1090
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 552 Weight 430K DOB 7/8/16 Sex Heifer Breed CHX Price €1090 Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 572 Weight 430K DOB 4/5/16 Sex Heifer Breed CHX Price € 1125 Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 55 Weight 705K DOB 2/1/16 Sex Bullock Breed LMX Price €1600 Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 57 Weight 675K DOB 7/9/15 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price €1620 Photo Brian Farrell
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

When any event happens, the reason behind it is always open to scrutiny and interpretation.

For example in this column last week I suggested that many of the Friesian-type bullocks presented for sale at present in the 400-499kg category might not "have had a lot to recommend them", judging from their ringside prices at a time when factory prices continue to rise.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number60
Weight 655K
DOB 20/7/15
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price €1500
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number60 Weight 655K DOB 20/7/15 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price €1500 Photo Brian Farrell

(Factory base quotes this week for bullocks run from €4.15-4.30/kg which depending on where you are and the quality you're selling is up 5-10c/kg, which follows on from last week's 5c/kg increase).

Leaving immediate factory prices aside, Noel Corcoran of Kanturk wondered whether some of those much maligned and harder-sold lighter stores at marts might not just be the cattle to leave a few pounds lighter when the time comes?

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 59
Weight 730K
DOB 4/6/15
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price € 1700
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 59 Weight 730K DOB 4/6/15 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price € 1700 Photo Brian Farrell

It's a good question. Often the market does undervalue certain categories.

The market balances many different factors and at present the feeling is those lighter dairy Friesian types are only valued at lower prices because of the potential length of keep involved.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 58
Weight 680K
DOB 2/6/15
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price € 1550
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 58 Weight 680K DOB 2/6/15 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price € 1550 Photo Brian Farrell

However, if you had the ground and a good store of winter feed and were not overly pushed on turning them too quickly, letting them grow into the money might be the way to go.

I still wouldn't fill the place with them, though. There's nothing like your Holstein Friesian to fall out of bed if factory prices start to go south.

Also Read


24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 56
Weight 640K
DOB 12/5/15
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price €1540
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 56 Weight 640K DOB 12/5/15 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price €1540 Photo Brian Farrell

Speaking of falling out of bed, this week's ringside tables show that on the bullock table everything took a bit of a tumble last week, while on the heifer table the reverse was largely the case.

The reasons are possibly many and varied.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 564
Weight 395K
DOB 30/4/17
Sex Heifer
Breed CHX
Price € 1190
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 564 Weight 395K DOB 30/4/17 Sex Heifer Breed CHX Price € 1190 Photo Brian Farrell

Firstly, numbers of stock were less at some sales; the number of cattle required by grass finishers is getting less as they fill up, leading to men falling away ringside and making that bit easier on those left.

The weather also played its part: good weather will often remove both buyers and sellers from the game as matters pertaining to silage moved front and centre in many areas.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 52
Weight 510K
DOB 26/8/16
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price € 1400
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 52 Weight 510K DOB 26/8/16 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price € 1400 Photo Brian Farrell

The least amount of damage was done at the heavier end where your 600kg+ bullock fell back by 5c/kg to average €2.18/kg, with the better bullock easing by just 3c/kg to €2.50/kg.

That in round figures means your good R/U grade better bullock from 600-700kg, while less by between €18-21/hd, was still clocking from €1,500-1,750/hd last week.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 49
Weight 490K
DOB 19/10/16
Sex Bullock
Breed CHX
Price €1405
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 49 Weight 490K DOB 19/10/16 Sex Bullock Breed CHX Price €1405 Photo Brian Farrell

In the 500-599kg section the overall price fall averages out at 8c/kg or from €40-48/hd, while the poorer-quality animal suffered an 11c/kg loss.

Returns

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 554
Weight 535K
DOB 16/4/15
Sex Heifer
Breed CHX
Price €1280
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 554 Weight 535K DOB 16/4/15 Sex Heifer Breed CHX Price €1280 Photo Brian Farrell

Moving into the lighter bullock section that myself and Noel discussed above, last week's returns for the 300-399kg section see averages from 11-12c/kg, while in the 400-499kg section the reduction is from 7-10c/kg.

The story last week on the heifer side was more positive with overall averages either staying static or improving by 2-6c/kg.

The biggest increase on the heifer table came in the average price of the poorer-quality animal; she jumped 13c/kg or €78/hd.

24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford
Lot Number 556
Weight 455K
DOB 16/12/16
Sex Heifer
Breed LMX
Price €
Photo Brian Farrell
24/5/2018 Ballymahon Mart Longford Lot Number 556 Weight 455K DOB 16/12/16 Sex Heifer Breed LMX Price € Photo Brian Farrell

That gives you an average price for your poorer heifer of €1.99/kg, just below the magic €2.00/kg that many of the better-quality cull cows have been coming into over the last three to four months.

It's that improvement in the prices paid for those poorer-type heifers in most of the weight categories that is the major contributing factor to the fact that overall heifer averages moved upwards last week.

Marts Roundup

1 Kanturk

 Noel Corcoran noted that while the forward store bullock and heifer remain the market favourite, is it possible those now harder-sold but plainer types might be where the money is in the longer run? Who’s to say that those six 360kg Friesian bullocks sold for €570/hd won’t return as much profit as those eight 401kg Herefords at €820/hd or those three 631kg Limousins at €1,545/hd. Or will it be a case that the men here who paid from €880-980/hd here for 615-660kg Friesian cull cows will be the ones with the most profit when the time comes to sell on.

2 Carnew

This was a smaller than previously sale with beef and quality cattle holding steady while the plainer bullock was €10-15/hd easier. Beef bullocks made €750-1,100/hd with the €/kg, with beef heifers selling from €620-920/hd over the €/kg. Continental store bullocks made from €550-850/hd over the 4/kg with store heifers making €350-830/hd over the €/kg. Friesian bullocks sold from €150-670/hd with their weight. Dry cows made €550-870/hd over the weight while store cows made €150-470/hd over their weight.

3 Ennis

There was a good show of cattle here with the trade reported as firm, with the weanling heifer possibly a little stronger. Among the top of the bull weanling prices were 365-370kg Limousins who sold for €3.09/kg, a 410kg Charolais who made €2.82 and another Limousin, weighing 405kg who made €2.81/kg. It was a similar story among the heifers with the top of the pile in Charolais and Limousins making €2.74.-3.09/kg. The €2.51/kg paid for four 293kg Aberdeen Angus heifer weanlings didn’t look to bad either.

4 Kilrush

In the calf ring here Friesians sold mainly from €40-150/hd, with Hereford and Angus making €100-300/hd. On the cull cow front, Friesian store types typically made from €1.35-1.50, with your better continental store hitting around the €1.80/kg mark. Heavy cows remained strong, with prices ranging from €1.50-1.90/kg. On the bullock side, while not the top price of the day, the 610kg Shorthorn who made €2.21/kg gives me hope that the future might not be all about stars and subsidies on the suckler side.

5 Blessington

A strong trade saw beef and forward bullocks make €570-960/hd with the €/kg, with 500kg+ stores making €560-840/hd with the €/kg; lighter stores back to 400kg sold from €420-680/hd with their weight. Beef and butchers’ heifers made 520-880/hd with the €/kg; store heifers over 400kg made €460-700/hd with the €/kg while the 300-400kg heifer sold from €320-565hd with their weight. Friesian bull calves made €90-165/hd with Hereford and Angus bulls selling from €100-360/hd. Continental heifer calves sold from €140-285/hd.

6 Castlerea

The €3.02/kg paid for a 440kg Limousin along with other equally strong prices helped underpin a bullock trade here that was described, possibly modestly, as being just “firm”. Among some of the other better performers were a 505kg Angus bullocks who sold for €2.46/kg, a 520kg Charolais at €2.75/kg and a 640kg Limousin at €2.54/kg. It was a similar story in the heifer ring, with the best of the best seeing prices range from €2.50-3.08/kg, with heavier heifers noticeably strong. The weanling trade was also in positive territory for the good one, but plainer stock eased.

7 Baltinglass

The improving weather up Wicklow way helped the trade push your good quality continental store bullock along very nicely, with examples including a 487kg Limousin making €2.73/kg and a 450kg Limousin at €2.80/kg, while at the lighter end a nice 370kg Limousin made €2.67/kg. Plainer bullocks sold from €1.78-2.30/kg. Heifer prices stayed similar to the previous week at €2.40-2.90/kg, with plainer sorts making €2.12-2.40/kg. Fat cows continued to see a top of €2.00/kg.

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