Prices boost as numbers drop
ONE of the most noticeable features of the early 2019 mart trade has been the fact that in some areas numbers are back by up to 20pc.
While in other areas numbers are fluctuating from week to week but are averaging about normal. Some sales yards last week reported an improvement, but snowfalls resulted in a sharp fall-off in marts in the midlands and north-west.
Prices are trending stronger, particularly for the very top quality lighter store.
Patsy Smith of Dowra Mart said: “Those better cattle are going up €10-30/hd every week since we came back.”
Move down to Dingle in Co Kerry and Nelius McAuliffe has a similar story, as he reported a “great trade” for small cattle.
If you’d stopped off for a chat with Michael Harty in Roscrea last week, he would have told you that he clocked men he identifies as summer grazers getting in early and buying lighter stores to put to grass — if not immediately, then as soon as ground conditions will allow.
All of this positivity saw the better or top quarter bullock in the 300-399kg section average €2.43/kg, giving a price range of €729-970/hd last week.
In the 400-499kg division, your better-quality bullock averaged €2.28/kg, giving a price range of €912-1,138/hd.
Averages above 499kg, however, saw the 500-599kg bullock slip back by 3c/kg last week, while the 600kg+ animal fell a very significant 11c/ kg or €66+/hd.
That fall in the 600kg+ division was to be expected as the previous week the slight improvement recorded stalled at just 1c/kg.
Last week, the market took that very modest 1c/kg back and then some.
In summary, is the drive by some to purchase those topof-the-range lighter cattle a response to the uncertainty that Brexit may bring?
Buy them good, buy them young and let them grow into the money.