GALLERY: Reality bites as price gains reversed in bullock trade (trade back €60-80/head)
Pictures and Prices from Ballinasloe Mart
The traditional trade at this time of year is driven by buyers who, having gauged early grass growth, set about buying stock in advance based on the results.
While the trade has improved over the last few weeks, that improvement does not have a lot to do with the traditional "spring fever" when you could see farmers knocking lumps out of one another with their cheque books in their quest to buy cattle.
Instead, this spring we are seeing a trade being driven by the needs of contract feeders and feedlots.
But even among these buyers, reality seemed to bite last week and after the price jumps of €100 plus per head two weeks ago, last week brought the trade back to earth with a bang.
The ringside table shows prices slipping back by between €60-80/hd on the bullock table, while on the heifer table prices slipped on average by €25-108/hd.
No section was immune on either table, although the fall of between €30-40/hd in the 400-599kg section on the heifer table was less than half what it was on the bullock table.
On the bullock table that medium to forward store fell back on average 13-16c/kg or from €52-96/hd.
The fall incurred in these sections had a knock-on effect across the remainder of the bullock and heifer categories.