Factories feeling the heat as numbers tighten


Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

Factory prices of €370-3.75/kg for bullocks and €3.80-3.85/kg for heifers are coming under pressure as numbers tighten.

Last week's kill numbers were not available due to the Bank Holiday, but the belief in the trade is that the days of kill numbers in the 37,000-38,000hd bracket are finished for this year.

You can always tell the factory trade is about to turn when the under-age Friesian bullock moves front and centre.

Farmer with underage Friesian bullocks to sell this week can expect to see deals being offered on a flat basis, i.e. off the grid, in the range of €3.70-3.75/kg for Os.

Meanwhile the man with the better bullock or heifer may be struggling to get a base above €3.75/kg for bullocks or €3.85/kg for heifers.

However, the story across the west is that those buyers who are serious about doing business are offering bases of €3.80 and 3.90/kg respectively for bullocks and heifers.

There are numerous factors that come into play at this time of the year in determining supplies not least the effect of the weather on the grazing season.

One agent told me some of his clients were anxious to do deals last week to empty sheds and make room house stores who were doing damage outside.

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Yet by Saturday they had cooled in this regard as the weather improved and they decided to stay as they were.

Another agent told me that he was getting calls from finishers who wanted to raise cash to get out to the marts while numbers were still high and prices were under pressure.

The story in the bull section is that bulls from 16 to 24 months are selling from €3.65-370/kg for Os with Rs on €3.75-3.80 with the general quote for Us being between €3.85-3.90/kg.

However, I have been told of deals being done for heavy bulls at flat prices of €4.00/kg where a majority of the stock were deemed to be U grade before slaughter.

Young bulls, a highly specialised job, are not getting the bounce they deserve as their base stays in the €3.75-3.80/kg bracket.

Indo Farming

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