Forward cattle up to €80/hd higher than 2017 figures
With the weather improving, cattle marts last week saw a continuation of strong numbers and strong prices for good cattle.
Thomas Potterton from Delvin Mart notes that both bullocks and heifers were up maybe €50/hd on the previous week, while his weekly average for last week showed considerable improvement on the overall average prices Delvin achieved in May 2017.
This prompted me to look back to the ringside averages for this week last year and compare them with last week's performance.
Everything this year has been delayed by the weather, and getting a completely accurate analysis is not entirely possible. However, what does not change is the fact that farmers always want stock to graze grass and factories want cattle for their contracts, so in one sense the conveyor belt never stops.
The first thing I noticed was a more consistent pattern on the heifer side of the house as opposed to the bullock side.
On the bullock side no one section - whether overall average, top end or bottom end average - showed consistency of movement.
That was not the case with the top-end heifer. Whether it's in the 350-399kg division where she's up 4c/kg on average on a year ago, or the 600kg+ animal who is better by 5c/kg, the better-made heifer is consistently better priced this year.
Her two biggest lifts come in the 400-499kg section where at €2.63/kg she is 11c/kg higher than last year and the 500-599kg division where last week's average of €2.59/kg is 9c/kg better.