The Irish Farmers Journal has compiled all MartBids data for the first six months of the year and compared it with the first six months of 2020 and 2019.
For each cattle type, we have broken this data down by breed to give you the most up-to-date data of what your stock is worth compared with the last two years.
While data pools for minor breeds were much smaller than the major breeds, we thought it best to include it to give an idea about what stock from these breeds are making.
It is worth noting that trade at marts over the past three months has increased further
It is worth noting, however, that a couple of dozen good or bad lots could alter data significantly in any one year.
Looking over the data, we see clear indications of the breeds and stock type in most demand.
It is worth noting that trade at marts over the past three months has increased further, meaning these averages could be even higher.
This is particularly true for fed cattle which have proven to be in short supply and extremely high demand over the last eight weeks.
That said, we are seeing some of these prices reflected in the data, particularly for cull cows.
If we look at beef-sired dry cows we can see that prices rose by up to and above 30c/kg on the year for some major breeds. This is clearly outlined in Figure 3 which shows a strong rise over the past two years across most breeds. Across all breeds, we saw an average rise of just shy of €200 per head on the first six months.
Prices for Angus bullocks saw the most noticeable change with factories very keen for Angus-cross beef since the turn of the year
Even on the dairy front, we see that Friesian cows rose by 15c/kg on the year to settle at an average sale price of €1.41/kg.
This rise was also seen across bullock and heifer prices, particularly for heavy cattle, driven by factories looking for fat stock.
Prices for Angus bullocks saw the most noticeable change with factories very keen for Angus-cross beef since the turn of the year. Prices for the first half of 2021 rose by 26c/kg, meaning a 600kg bullock is up by over €150 per head.
Heavy Friesian bullocks also saw a good turn, rising by 20c/kg off a much lower base.
Heifers of 500kg plus saw a rise of 20c/kg or more across the breeds. A lot of the upper-end continental cattle weren’t going for slaughter. Instead, many farmers were buying them with breeding season in the back of their minds. That said, heavy heifers with a strong shape have been in high demand, with agents and northern buyers also.
Lighter cattle under 400kg saw a substantial increase. These fit-for-grazing cattle got off to a great start earlier in the year, which helped to boost averages. Heifers, in particular, saw a price increase over the bullocks.