Oversupply of bulls remains a threat but signs trade is picking up
Oversupply of bulls remains a threat to prices but €3,050 paid for 16-month-old at opening Limousin Show and Sale of the year offers cause for optimism, writes Martin Ryan
After a very slow start to the 2019 season for pedigree sales, the trade is gradually building up and breeders are becoming more positive about regaining some of the momentum of previous seasons.
All continental breeds are experiencing the pressure from the over-supply of bulls within herds, which remains one of the biggest threats to sales delivering prices on par with previous years.
The breed societies are all aware that large entries for the shows and sales can have a diluting effect on sale average prices.
In the current demand for bulls, sale entries of 100 head and more will challenge the delivery of a good clearance, but the breed societies remain under a lot of pressure from their breeders to get bulls accepted into the sales.
Quality bulls will always find demand, but the second run and plainer lots struggle to meet the expectations of their vendors when customer demand fails to match the turnout.
It will be a critical tightrope walk for societies to achieve balance in the entries for the shows and sales over the coming weeks.
Bulls for cross-breeding in the dairy herds is a growing market for the beef breed bulls.
All the indications for 2019 are that the calving season is later by up to 15pc for the opening months of the year. In the aftermath of the late spring and fodder shortage last year dairy farmers have pushed back the 2019 calving date and are likely to come to the market for bulls up to a month later than last year.