Mart Trade: Prices ‘steady’ overall but poor quality heifers take a €200/hd hit
PRICES at the marts last week stabilised, with a lot of mart managers reporting prices as “steady” across all classes as spring numbers began to reach peak levels.
This would definitely appear to be the case when looking at the Ringside figures for the bullocks as their averages remained either unchanged — as in the case of the 600kg+ animal — or fluctuated up or down by 3c/kg across the remainder.
Those going up were restricted to the 300-399kg weight bracket whose average now sits at €2.55/kg or €765-1,017/hd after that 3c/kg increase. While the remaining two weight divisions declined by 3c/kg or from €12-15/hd in the case of the 400-499kg bullock and €15-18/hd in the 500-599kg section, I am very tempted not to read anything overly negative into these figures given the time of year.
That said, a couple of farmer agents who had contracts to fill over the next month did tell me that prices had “ got out of hand and out of bounds” two weeks ago. The heifer classes had a very mixed week with both the lightest and heaviest sections getting the worst of it.
The 350-399/kg heifer lost 7c/ kg on average, that’s €24-28/ hd, while the 600kg+ heifer fell back by 10c/kg or a minimum of €60/hd.
That’s a big wobble at a time when factory prices are firm to improving and with the talk around the trade being that beef may yet run a little scarce towards the middle of the year.
Closer inspection of the figures reveals that the major culprit were the poorer quality animals who turned up last week with their numbers seeing a very significant price reduction at 36c/kg or €216/hd.