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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Mart trade: Silage season gives sellers and buyers more options

See pictures and prices from Enniscorthy Mart

GALLERY: Click here to see more pictures and prices from Enniscorthy Mart.
GALLERY: Click here to see more pictures and prices from Enniscorthy Mart.
Lot no. 201B . No 3 Breed Lim. 15M 21D . Weight 358Kg. Price € 780. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 214 . Breed Lm. No 2 26M 24D . Weight 575Kg.Price € 1380 .Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 212 . Breed Sim. 26M 16D . Weight 400Kg. Price € 1010. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 212A . Breed Lim. Age 21M 14D . Weight 405Kg. Price € 835. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 211. Breed Sim/AA. 16M 10D . Weight 452Kg. Price € 1035. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 211B . Breed AA. 16M 14D . Weight 420Kg. Price € 960. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no.211A . Breed Lim. 16M 11D . Weight 455Kg. Price € 1010. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 213A . Breed AA. 13M 20D . Weight 318Kg. Price € 630. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 1215B. Breed CH. Age 17M 13D . Weight 485Kg. Price € 1085. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 218. Breed CH. Age 32M 28D . Weight 590Kg. Price € 1370. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no.221 . Breed CH. Age 20M 21D . Weight 480Kg. Price € 1185. Photo Roger Jones.
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

 THE kicking off in earnest of the silage season has given both buyers and sellers midsummer options.

Some sellers, especially from the dairy sector, who may have been forced to offload stock due to scarcity of grass may now feel the pressure ease with silage fields cleared.

That extra space also brings a sense of relief for the buyer, plus a chance to plan for the re­mainder of the grazing season.

So where is the cattle busi­ness now as we enter the first week of June 2017? How does it compare with this time last year?

Looking back at the ringside and factory reports for the first week of June 2016 shows that the great barometer of the trade, the factory gate price, was bubbling along nicely.

However, it was 5-10c/kg less at €4.10/kg for bullocks and €4.15/kg for heifers com­pared to this week’s price of €4.15-4.20/kg for bullocks and €4.25-4.30/kg for heifers.

GALLERY: Click here to see more pictures and prices from Enniscorthy Mart.
GALLERY: Click here to see more pictures and prices from Enniscorthy Mart.
Lot no. 201B . No 3 Breed Lim. 15M 21D . Weight 358Kg. Price € 780. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 214 . Breed Lm. No 2 26M 24D . Weight 575Kg.Price € 1380 .Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 212 . Breed Sim. 26M 16D . Weight 400Kg. Price € 1010. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 212A . Breed Lim. Age 21M 14D . Weight 405Kg. Price € 835. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 211. Breed Sim/AA. 16M 10D . Weight 452Kg. Price € 1035. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 211B . Breed AA. 16M 14D . Weight 420Kg. Price € 960. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no.211A . Breed Lim. 16M 11D . Weight 455Kg. Price € 1010. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 213A . Breed AA. 13M 20D . Weight 318Kg. Price € 630. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 1215B. Breed CH. Age 17M 13D . Weight 485Kg. Price € 1085. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no. 218. Breed CH. Age 32M 28D . Weight 590Kg. Price € 1370. Photo Roger Jones.
Lot no.221 . Breed CH. Age 20M 21D . Weight 480Kg. Price € 1185. Photo Roger Jones.

In theory therefore average prices at the marts should be a shade stronger this week for the bullock and maybe noticeable stronger for heifers provided those better prices are being passed back.

The ringside figures however paint a different picture.

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The overall average for last week in the 300-399kg bullock section shows a figure of €2.18/ kg, with the average figure for the same week in 2016 in this division being €2.22/kg.

The difference in this section is therefore 6c/kg or a minus figure of €18-24/hd.

The story in the 400-499kg section also shows that this year’s sellers are taking less with the weekly comparable difference at 7c/kg or €28-35/hd at an average price of €2.13/kg versus €2.20/kg for 2016.

In the 500-599kg section the difference is 9c/kg on aver­age, with the 2016 figure again coming out on top at €2.22/kg on average verses €2.13/kg or a €45-54/hd difference.

The price gap narrows in the 600kg+ section to just 3c/kg but it still leaves the last weeks average of €2.14/kg a minimum of €18/hd behind the 2016 fig­ure for the first of June, which stood at €2.17/kg.

In short therefore many who sold cattle at marts last week fared worse than they did 12 months ago.

How much of that fall off can be attributed to variations in quality is open to discussion.

However the man with pos­sibly the greatest expenses, the finisher, has seen the ball bounce in his favour recently.

Selling a bullock to the fac­tory who weighed up as a cold carcase at say 380kgs is from €19-38/hd ahead of last year price.

Also, if he buys back in the 500-599kg section, which would be preferable, the replacement cost is €45-54hd less.

Therefore the net gain from 2016 to 2017 for the finisher who did both his buying and selling last week is €64-92/hd.

The latest statistics show farm incomes fell in 2016 and on the strength of the above the outlook for many in the cattle business in 2017, finishers aside, does not appear, as yet, to be getting any rosier.

We’ll get to the heifers next week.


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