In the 500-599kg section, while the figures show the average up the
bare minimum at just 1c/kg, the top quarter here gained a very
respectable 7c or from €35-42/hd.
The bottom quarter did fall by
5c/kg or €25-30/hd, as buyers carefully assessed the factory price
prospects for finished stock into the summer.
That same factory
price assessment, but in a shorter time frame, may have also
influenced the markets pricing of the heavier 600kg+ bullocks last
week; they fell back by 5c/kg on average, with factory prices
effectively stalled at €3.80-3.85/ kg for carcase beef.
rumours that €3.75/ kg had been accepted by some with possibly out
of spec or poorer confirmation stock helped push the poorer quality
600kg bullock onto an average of €1.63/kg or €978/hd. That’s down
11c/kg or €66/hd on the previous week.
But last week the average
price of the better Aberdeen Angus/ Hereford bullock at €2.09/ kg
was 4c/kg better off than the average price of the continental at
€2.05/kg; food for thought for those in the suckling business
The only other animal to see an average downward push on
price was the 300-399kg stock; but with the top quarter gaining
6c/kg or from €18-24/hd I don’t read too much into that average
fall of 1c/kg.
The heifer trade was also in good fettle last week
although the average price gains across the various weight
divisions from 350-599kgs were less spectacular than those of the
The biggest average price rise was in the 350-399kg
section where prices rose by 5c/kg on average, with the top quarter
gaining 9c/kg. That left the average price at €2.13/kg or from
€745-850/ hd, with the top quarter on €864-985/hd or €2.47/kg.
you go up the weights the gains become less. The 400-499kg average
price rose by 3c/kg to sit on €2.05/ kg, while the 500-599kg heifer
average price only improved by 1c/kg, although the tops here gained
3c/kg or €15-18/hd.
Gortatlea in Kerry celebrated its second anniversary in
some style last Friday. A very strong turnout of stock was mirrored
by keen local interest and serious competition from Northern
buyers. Trade was brisk with your good continental cow making
€2.00-2.11/kg. Among the heifers both Hereford and Aberdeen Angus
saw prices in the €2.10-2.20/kg range, with continentals hitting
€2.51/kg. In the bullock ring the trade was no less buoyant, with
680kg Friesians making €1.85/kg, while 10 545kg Herefords made
There was also a big turnout of local and
Northern buyers in Baltinglass for the annual bullock and bull show
and sale. Mart owner Joe Kinsella was happy with the very large
entry but even more so with the quality and prices achieved. Among
the prices were 380-395kg Limousins who made from €2.50-2.60/kg,
while slightly heavier 417-420kg Belgian Blues made €2.37-2.42/kg.
Moving to the heavier end you had the champion, an 810kg Limousin,
“Considering where the factory
price is, the mart trade has started 2017 strongly.” This was
manager Sean Ryan’s assessment of the mart trade at this early
point. His sale on Saturday saw the stronger heifer make from
€2.10-2.50/kg, while Hereford bullocks saw their prices hit
€2.40/kg off a base of €2.10/kg. In the weanling ring, both farmers
and shippers were active, with the lighter 350kg animal’s price
ranging from €2.30-3.71/kg, and Belgian Blues coming in at
Numbers were reported as up slightly
on the previous week but so to were the number of buyers. The top
of the market saw 595kg Charolais bullocks make €2.27/kg, which
made the various lots of Limousins from 640-660kgs that made from
€2.08/kg-2.13/kg, interesting. In the heifer ring the Charolais
were again top with various lots at 450kgs making €2.47/kg,
although at €2.42/kg some of the Limousins weren’t too far away.
Auctioneer John Curran said he felt a little bit
like Gay Byrne, commenting that although the sale wasn’t overly big
the diversity of stock was such that there was something for
everyone in the audience. That something could have been four
Aberdeen Angus bullocks of 608kgs who made €1,225 and six 485kg
Friesians that went for €850/hd. If heifers were your thing how
about four 475kg Limousins that averaged €1,030 or a couple of
256kg weanling Angus at €500/ hd or their similar weighted bull
brothers at €520/hd, while at €860 got you a 640kg dry cow.
Trade in Macroom saw the better quality dry cow sell for
€490 with her weight, with the poorer animal dipping to €150 under
the €1/kg. Aberdeen Angus bullocks in the 490-565kg bracket hovered
around €2.00-2.12/kg, while €2.03/kg was the price of two 520kg
Herefords. Among the continentals were five 340kg Limousins that
went for €2.28/kg