Cattle prices surge by up to €300/head
Exceptional mart demand for top class forward stores but weak trade for lighter stock
A booming trade in the marts for heavy cattle has resulted in top-quality forward stores making €250 to €300 more than this time last year.
The surge in grass growth in recent weeks, and a continuation of firm prices for finished beef, has boosted demand for forward stores and prices have rocketed as a result.
Mart auctioneers and managers report the best of the trade is for heavy stores.
Prices for 500-600kg quality continental stores are up €250-€300 on last year's levels on the back of strong competition between mainly farmer beef finishers.
The lift in forward store prices has gathered pace over the last week, despite efforts by the factories to take some heat out of the beef trade.
Kilkenny-based livestock auctioneer George Candler said the current prices suggested that farmers were confident of cattle prices holding through to autumn.
"The fancy forward stores are making very fancy money and it is the farmers who are buying them for finishing.
"They'd be up at least €250/hd on this time last year, but they [farmers] are not shy in paying it, so they must have confidence in the beef prices holding," said Mr Candler.