Calf trade the big surprise as prices hold into post-quota era
A glance at Ringside will show you that the mart trade was quite positive over the past week, especially for the bullocks and heifers. Meanwhile the light weanling bulls and the better type weanling heifers also more than held their own.
Apart from these categories, the suck calves are the real surprise. Many had felt that after the first of April and the end of the quota regime, numbers would rocket and prices would collapse. Neither has happened so far as good weather helped to underpin the trade.
One manager said that he knows a number of farmer buyers who will wait until the weather is suitable for letting the calves off in a field before he buys. A few marts suggested that the trade was stronger last week than for a few previous weeks.
Dairy and suckler cows continue to sell well. The heavy steers were up by 3-8c/kg at €2.20-2.70/kg, while lots under 500kg were improved by 7-9c/kg and making from €2.30/kg to €3.00/kg in the main. Plainer types sold for €1.85-2.00/kg.
The heifer trade was up by anything from 1-13c/kg, with €2.30-2.85/kg buying most stock. Heifers over 600kg ranged from €2.20-2.60/kg. Lesser lots made from €1.80-2.15/kg.
Light bulls rose slightly to €2.50-3.20/kg but bulls over 300kg were back by 3-6c/kg at €2.35-2.90/kg. Poorer quality bulls sold for €1.80-2.05/kg. Prices for the plainer weanling heifers were down by 1-13c/kg at €2.16-2.45/kg but the nicer types were up by between 1-15c/kg. Lots under 300kg were selling for €2.90-3.50/kg with the 300-400kg types making from €2.70-3.30/kg. Heavier heifer weanlings made from €2.60-3.10/kg.
Dowra had 720 Cattle on offer last Saturday. Weanling bulls under 300kg were making €2.10-3.80/kg, with a few light fancy lots making up to and over €4.00/kg.
Bulls in the 300-400kg weight range made from €1.80-3.50/kg, while lots over 400kg sold from €2.00-2.80/kg. Store bullocks under 550kg were selling for €1.90-2.90/kg. Heavier types made €2.00-2.60/kg.