Farm Ireland

Sunday 19 November 2017

Prices for Friesian store cattle improve by €50/hd

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Prices for Friesian store cattle have begun to make a tentative recovery as more buyers appear at the ringside for them.

Prices for heavier and more British-type stores have improved by €50/hd in recent weeks, although they remain at least €100/hd behind other breeds. Holstein-type stores are further behind, with some still struggling to break the €1/kg barrier.

Denis Kirby, mart manager at Kilmallock said the best British-type Friesian stores sold for €1.60-170/kg for those over 400kg. However, lighter stores under 350kg and those with more Holstein genetics struggled to get more than €1.20/kg.

"A few weeks ago those stores were just skin and bone but they've had a few weeks at grass now and the weights are higher and the cattle look better so there are more buyers," he remarked.

George Candler in Kilkenny Mart said cattle were thriving better in recent weeks and attracting more customers. He added that with silage and hay saved on many farms, buyers were more plentiful at the mart.

The best price for a Friesian store last week was €900 for a 440kg bullock, equating to €2.05/kg.

"That was a British type but a few weeks ago it would only have made €720-750," he maintained.

Best prices for dairy-bred stores were paid for those over 430kg in weight.

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Holstein-type stores sold for around €1.40/kg but prices fell back to €1/kg for the least fleshy stores.

"At the real extreme Holstein end we got €350 for 350kg," said Mr Candler.

Castleisland Mart manager Richard Harnett said the trade for dairy-bred stores in Kerry was "very slow", although it had improved slightly in recent weeks.

"But those cattle were at a sacrifice price two months ago, they had to improve some bit after two months of putting on weight," Mr Harnett insisted.

"They've gone up €50/hd in the last two months but other stores have gone up €150/hd in the same time."

Friesian stores of 350kg averaged €450/hd or €1.28/kg in Castleisland last week, while heavier stores of 500kg made €300 over the weight or €1.60/kg.

Mr Harnett said it was very disappointing for dairy farmers that the latest consignment of cattle to Libya did not include Friesians. However, he added that the high export figures for calves this year would benefit the cattle trade next year.

Some 51,056 calves have been exported so far this year, an increase of 156pc on the 2012 figure of 32,607.

Bord Bia figures show that live exports of weanlings are also up 24pc to 14,179hd and exports of stores are up 43.7pc to 13,070.

The figures are based on January 1 to June 30 this year, versus the same period last year.

Irish Independent