Mixed week as factories pull cattle prices
There was mixed news for the sheep and cattle sectors this week. Confirmation that the Quinns are to send a second boat to Libya is a real boost for the sheep trade. However, the determination of the factories to pull cattle prices has provoked an angry response from farmer representatives.
After all the talk about live exports kicking off in the cattle scene, it has been the sheep sector that has reaped the immediate rewards of having shippers battling with butchers and factory buyers for stock in the marts.
Reports from the sales rings indicate that buyers for the shippers were freely giving up to €2.50/kg for suitable stock but had been pushed to €2.58/kg in places.
It is understood that the ship sailing this week is to take up to 10,000hd – there were 5,000hd on the previous sailing.
In contrast, factory quotes for steers, heifers, bulls and cull cows have all been pulled. Steers were generally bought for around 425c/kg, heifers made close to 440c/kg and bulls 430c/kg.
Lambasting the actions of the factories this week, the IFA pointed out that quotes had fallen by around 30c/kg or close to €110/hd in the last five weeks.
However, defending their actions, the factories pointed out that the Irish steer price has been running at least 5pc ahead of the European average for most of the year.