Good and all as these prices are they are still
€200/ hd less than those paid by that English butcher at Elphin
last week who whipped off 40 heifers for grazing to England from
their show and sale at an average of €1,000- 1,050 over the €/kg.
Which is my way of saying that the English market, Brexit or no
Brexit, isn’t all about Tescos or Sainsburys, or the ABP or the
Dawns of this world.
The bullock trade was mixed last week, with
poorer animals below 500kgs taking a 5c/kg hit. In contrast, the
better animal rose by 3-4c/ kg or by
€9-20/hd, as buyers, despite
generally small sales, stuck to buying quality over numbers.
up to the forward and beef bullock from 500-600kgs+, trade here
strengthened slightly with the 500-599kg bullock’s average up
3c/kg, while the better one was up 5c/kg or €25-30/hd.
in the 600kg+ section is restricted to a modest 1c/kg in the top
quarter, with the poorer animal easier by 3c/kg or €18/hd. Weanling
prices rose on average across the majority of weights, with only
the 400- 600kg bull showing a modest 1c/kg decline as buyers moved
The biggest mover was the 100-299/kg bull which saw
prices rise €11-33/hd or 11c/ kg, with the bottom quarter here
rising 18c/kg or from €18-54/hd. However, mart managers report
renewed interest in those heavier 400- 600kg bulls following their
fall of €48/hd or 8c/kg two weeks ago.
Friday’s sale at Donegal saw a very good turnout and a
generally strong trade. Heifers from 250-350kgs made €2.80-
3.60/kg, with €2.60-2.94/kg the range for the 350-450kg animal.
Bullock numbers were small, with prices averaging from
€2.00-2.42/kg. Continental bull calves were in strong demand
especially from feeders with those from 250-350kgs making
€2.70-3.44/kg, while exporters were fit to give up to €3.85/ kg for
the same weights. The heavy bull suitable for the under 16-month
market made €2.40-2.80/kg. Out of spec bulls were a harder sell,
with prices from €2.10-2.45/kg.
The special show and sale
of female stock at Elphin last week set an example as to what the
suckler man can expect with the right stock, with one English
butcher buying upwards of 40 heifers for further grazing at prices
in the €1,000-1,200/ hd over the €1/kg range. Breeding heifers made
from €1,000-1,050/hd over the €1/kg, while your average to good
beef heifer of 400-480kgs covered the ground from €1,000-1,300/hd.
Sean Ryan noted a lot of farmers actively looking
for stock at his sale last Saturday. He also rated the difference
ringside between your average bullock and the top quarter bullock
as being in the 30-40c/kg bracket. “it’s all about quality,” he
said. In the bullock ring you could buy at €2.20/kg or pay up to
€2.60/ kg for that better “quality” animal, while among the heifers
€2.60/kg was also top of the market, with €2.25/kg the base. The
weanling trade saw bulls at €2.20-3.10/kg, with heavier 400-450kg
bulls “getting on well” at prices from €2.30-2.60/kg.
Michael Harty described his numbers as “disappointing” for the time
of year. The reason he maintained was the abundance of winter feed
and the fact that both buyers and sellers are waiting for grass to
become better established. All that said Michael rated bullocks as “
unchanged” with lighter stock “a great trade” as evidenced by four
Limousins of 375kgs who made €950/hd, while €1,005 saw the hammer
fall on a 320kg Charolais. Among the heavier bull weanlings 570kg
Friesians made €905/hd, while the same weight Friesian bullock made
The cull cow was the main seller at Listowel
last week. Her price varied widely though, with Jerseys and Jersey
cross’s the bottom of the trade at 60-80c/kg, with the general run
of Friesians on €1.00-1.20/kg, while the top of the market saw
€1.40- 1.50/kg. The calf trade was very strong with shippers paying
up to €100/hd, while farmer calves made up to €170/hd. The smaller
turn out of bullocks saw Friesians make €1.50-1.80/kg, with better
Herefords hitting €2.08/kg.
Trade at Dowra was “good” with
Patsy Smith commenting that the weanling trade was “especially
strong”, with lighter weanlings most in demand. Bulls under 300kgs
made €2.00-3.30/kg, with the 300-400kg bull on €1.80-3.10/kg.
Moving up to the 400-500kg section prices here ranged from
€2.00-2.90/kg, while bulls over 600kgs sold for €2.00- 2.48/kg.
Heifer prices largely mirrored those of the bulls. Lighter bullocks
made up to €2.60/kg.
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