Weather woes see plain bullocks back by €50/hd
Mart prices for plain store cattle and young stock have tumbled by at least €50/hd in the past fortnight as appalling weather conditions take their toll on the cattle trade.
Heavy rain, combined with a shortage of both grass and fodder on farms, has discouraged farmers from buying store animals until the forecast improves considerably.
George Candler of Kilkenny Mart said the trade for plainer store bullocks was back €50-€80/hd last Thursday, although beef cattle and heifers were still in strong demand.
Mr Candler attributed the price drop to "a lack of grass and a lack of brass".
He said plain 350kg Friesian bullocks sold for €600-610 on Thursday last, compared to €650-700 the previous week.
Prices for young stores of 350-400kg have fallen by 10-15c/kg at Ennis Mart in the past fortnight, according to mart manager Martin McNamara.
Young bullocks of 350kg sold for around €2.40/kg on Thursday, a drop of €35-50/hd on two weeks ago, while heifers are back by €35/hd to €2.45-2.50/kg.
"While the trade for good forward store and beef bullocks and heifers is holding up, the trade for younger animals has been particularly affected by the weather," said Mr McNamara. "Farmers are not out buying because they don't have any grass to put the cattle on."