Factories move in for the kill on lower quotes
Factories have been as clinical as the Dublin football team were in their domination of Tyrone on Sunday in their recent execution of price reductions.
They've also had a good ally in the weather. Leaving the floods experienced by north Donegal out of the equation, the rest of the country has experienced about three weeks of misty and at times wet weather with very little drying. It's a bad combination when you have heavy or factory fit stock on the land.
Reports from across the country indicate that while the factories are getting the numbers - 35,000 last week - they are in some places having to work a little to get them.
As to the price, while west of the Shannon prices have dipped on to a base of €3.80/kg for bullocks and €3.90/kg for heifers, it is not unheard of for a few to be mixed in at €3.85/kg and €3.95/kg either.
Moving further east and south, the price for cattle presented yesterday were generally that 5c/kg better at €3.85/kg and €3.95/kg. That said, a lot of plants were also quoting that €3.80/kg for bullocks for the rest of the week, with heifers similarly easier at €3.90/kg.
However, I've had reports from sellers who drew back from deals at those lower prices and who subsequently got phone calls to say that they would still get the "old" €3.85-3.95 price later in the week if they hadn't done a deal somewhere else.
The feeling being expressed by some in the trade is that last week saw the start of the "backend" trade with a lot of new sellers hitting the market with their first draw.
Moving to the bulls after holding steady on a base of €4.00/kg for the last while the under-16 month bull this week dips on to a €3.95/kg base. Bulls from 16 to 24-months see their price also ease that 54c/kg with Us on €3.95/kg, Rs on €3.85 and Os back at €3.70-3.75/kg.