Buyers' budgets are tight
More farmers are working to a definite budget per head for their spend on weanlings this season, according to Martin McNamara, manager of Clare Marts.
"We are seeing people at the sales this week who are prepared to go to €800/head for the good weanling bull at around 350 kgs - if they don't get them at that they are prepared to let them go.
"There is a definite trend of closely watching what they are spending and it is going to have an impact on the trade for the heavier weanling," he said.
"I have seen the lighter weanling making almost as much as weanlings that are 50kg heavier. The customers are less willing to pay the higher prices, even for better value in weight versus price", he added.
"Feed on farms is very plentiful and the quality is good.
"I get the impression that there will be a good trade for the lighter weanlings to be carried on with a low level of meal input and keeping them longer to get them into weight at a lower cost," said Mr McNamara.
"It is a new trend, but it is all about keeping down the cost," he added.
The prices in Clare last week were slightly back on the previous week with numbers on offer maintained or slightly higher.
Meanwhile, George Chandler, auctioneer at Kilkenny Mart, said that very few weanlings have been offered at the sales so far.
"We had a few on Thursday, but we are really starting the season this week with a special section for the weanlings.
" This will give us a better indication of what the trade is going to be like," he said.
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