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Independent.ie

Thursday 14 December 2017

Cattle trade: No slippage in the trade but some averages dip

Pictures and Prices from a recent sale at Carnew Mart

Lot 41 . weight 602 Kg, DOB 11/03/15. PRICE €1280. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 41 . weight 602 Kg, DOB 11/03/15. PRICE €1280. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

THE cattle trade over the last few weeks has been marked by strong prices, as marts report “no slippage” in the trade.

Over the past fortnight we’ve seen some prices dip, others battle back in the bullock sec­tion. Over the past week the averages have fallen in the 500-599kg section, which also fell by 1-5c/kg or from €5-30/ hd two weeks ago.

This means the overall aver­age price in this very important section, which traditionally provides a big proportion of spring stock to go to grass for autumn slaughter, has fallen by 4c/kg or from €20-24/hd in two weeks.

The better quality stock suf­fered a 7c/kg fall which adds up to a reduction among the best cattle at this weight of €35-42/hd.

Lot 121 . 2 off. Weight 568 Kg, DOB 24/10/14. PRICE €1200. Breed SIX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 121 . 2 off. Weight 568 Kg, DOB 24/10/14. PRICE €1200. Breed SIX. Photo Roger Jones.

However, the poorer quality bullock at this weight has re­mained largely stable, indeed taken together his average has actually improved by 1c/kg or €54-6/hd over those same two weeks.

Why is this animal that is the backbone of many grass based summer grazing systems appearing to go into reverse at this traditionally very impor­tant buying time?

Lot 412. weight 604 Kg, DOB 5/04/15. PRICE €1350. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 412. weight 604 Kg, DOB 5/04/15. PRICE €1350. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.

Factory prices

It comes at a time when beef prices are improving, with the sellers to the factories re­porting €4.10/kg for bullocks. The Ringside figures for the last two weeks show the overall average for the 600kg+ bullock is up by 5c/kg or €30/hd at a minimum.

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The better quality bullock remains static but the poorer quality at this weight was up an average of 10c/kg over the same fortnight – that’s €60+/hd.

It adds more confusion as to why the 600kg+ bullock’s replacement of choice 500- 599kg bullock is having such a mundane time.

Lot 43. weight 555 Kg, DOB 1/02/15. PRICE €1185. Breed LMX PTX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 43. weight 555 Kg, DOB 1/02/15. PRICE €1185. Breed LMX PTX. Photo Roger Jones.

However, it does support the idea that suitable numbers of better replacement stock are just not there on the ground at this weight.

Perhaps, the prices for the 400-499kg animals were beginning to be influenced by the increased numbers of dairy type stock coming on the market from a burgeon­ing dairy sector.

There the averages remain more or less stationary.

The story among the heifers is more positive however with the exception of the poorer quality 600kg+ heifer who fell out of bed last week to the tune of 22c/kg or €132/hd.

Lot 40 . weight 6444Kg, DOB 22/03/15. PRICE €900. Breed heX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 40 . weight 6444Kg, DOB 22/03/15. PRICE €900. Breed heX. Photo Roger Jones.

Leaving her aside, overall averages from 350-599kgs are up by 1-3ckg or from €4-18/hd with the bottom quarter in both the 400-499kg and 500-599kg sections seeing increases of 7and 6c/kg respectively or from €28-36/hd.

While the poorer animal in the 600kg section fell that 22c/ kg last week the good news was that the better animal at this weight gained 8c/kg or €48/ hd which helped offset that 22c/kg loss.

Lot 415. weight 575 Kg, DOB 14/04/15. PRICE €1235. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 415. weight 575 Kg, DOB 14/04/15. PRICE €1235. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.

Mart Roundup

1 NENAGH

Up to €2,000/hd was paid for the better quality continental cows suitable for the suckler herd as some suckler men continue to resist the lure of the dairy dollar. Mart manager Michael Harty reported that prices for cull cows from the dairy sector ran from €1.80-2.05/kg. Among the bullocks, your good middle of the road Friesian was getting €2.00/kg or a shade more. Hereford and Angus bullocks saw prices top out at from €2.00-2.20/hd.

2 KILKENNY

Lot 41 . weight 491 Kg, DOB 13/03/15. PRICE €1170. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 41 . weight 491 Kg, DOB 13/03/15. PRICE €1170. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 51 . weight 419 Kg, DOB 11303/15. PRICE €1170. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 51 . weight 419 Kg, DOB 11303/15. PRICE €1170. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.

Manager Michael Lynch noted more numbers in his yard than the previous week but by the conclusion of the day’s business he was satisfied that there had been no “slippage in the trade” and he noted that short keep cattle were “strong”. Averages across all weights in the bullock section were as follows: Friesian €1.70-2.10/kg, Continental €2.20-2.80/kg with Hereford/ Aberdeen Angus on €2.00-2.50/kg. Among the 600kg+ cull cows, Friesians ranged from €1.30-1.70/kg with Continentals’ making from €1.70-2.30/kg.

3 DELVIN

Thomas Potterton described the sale as “a good day” for business. Lighter dry cows made from €1.15-1.49/kg with €1.37 the average, while heavier stock ranged from €1.26-1.73/kg. In the bullocks “your good light store” made from €1.30-2.82/kg. Once you went above 500kgs, prices ranged from €1.74-2.27/kg. The heavier trade was “very brisk” with those under 300kgs averaging €2.53/kg to a top of €3.00/kg while the 300-400kg heifer ranged from €1.78-2.89/kg with the 400-500kg animal making from €2.31-2.67/kg.

Lot 53 . weight 636 Kg, DOB 04/06/14. PRICE €1450. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 53 . weight 636 Kg, DOB 04/06/14. PRICE €1450. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.

4 BALLINROBE

There was a return to big numbers but prices remained strong as the large number of farmer buyers present went about filling their summer grazing quotas. You’d have had to do better than €2.52/kg to land that 595kg Charolais bullock, while if you dropped down the weights you’d be the under bidder at €2.95/kg for four 385kg Limousins which made €2.96/kg. In the heifer ring, a 395kg Limousin made €3.04/ kg while a 345kg Angus hit €3.12/kg before the hammer fell.

5 BALLYMOTE

Lot 52 . weight 446 Kg, DOB 15/05/154 PRICE €910. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot 52 . weight 446 Kg, DOB 15/05/154 PRICE €910. Breed LMX. Photo Roger Jones.

There was a “ strong trade all round” with a price of €2.65/kg being paid for a 360kg Charolais with a 355kg Angus not much further back at €2.56/kg. A 550kg Charolais sold for €2.54/kg and a 500kg Angus hit €2.60/kg.

6 MOUNTBELLEW

Prices were reported as “holding firm” for all stock. At the heavy end of the bullocks, a 600kg Charolais made €2.16/kg with a 470kg Limousin going for €2.46/kg. In the heifer ring samples included a 485kg Belgian Blue at €2.56/kg and a 500kg Limousin at €2.36. Looking at the weanling trade there were 345kg Charolais heifers at €2.68/kg, while Charolais bulls from 240- 285kgs made from €2.73-3.12/kg.

7 GORTATLEA

Trade at Gortatlea was still “very firm with the cow trade going through the roof” according to manager Maurice Brosnan. Continental cows made from €2.00-2.20/ kg with Friesians on €1.65-1.85/kg. Top of the pile money wise was a 950kg Limousin cow who made €2,050. Maurice noted that a scarcity in quality 350-450kg bullock has seen average prices across the entire 350- 450 spectrum rise over the last month to between €2.50-2.70/kg. And as the saying goes “a rising tide lifts all boats”, as the Friesian bullock has also risen in that time by around €100/hd.


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