As highlighted in last week’s analysis, numbers continue to drop as we head deeper into the summer months.
Analysis this week of all Martbids data throughput of cattle is back 14% on the week. This drop was only half for the previous seven days.
That said, the Irish Farmers Journal was at some marts this week that saw a slight increase on the week.
Most of this can be attributed to their location in the country, with those in the peak of silage last week seeing a slight drop before returning to the usual norm this week.
While numbers may be back, trade certainly isn’t, with prices for steer cattle in particular seeing a substantial rise.
Factory agents remain very active ringside to try to buy up any remaining fed stock or short-keep lots.
While heifers didn’t see as much change as their steer comrades, they were working about 10c to 15c/kg ahead of them last week and are now around 5c/kg behind on average.
Good-quality heifers in the same weight still performed best of all
Average for bullocks 600kg-plus this week rested at €2.36/kg, while heifers stood at €2.31/kg. Lesser-quality lots of steers actually performed much stronger than the same quality of heifers, now 12c/kg higher.
Good-quality heifers in the same weight still performed best of all, rising by 11c/kg on the week and recording a massive average of €2.65/kg.
If we compare this with factory prices for a 600kg heifer killing out at 55%, she would need to be making €4.82/kg to compete with the mart.
For the top third of bullocks sold, the average rose by 9c/kg on the week to rest at €2.59. With the same criteria of 600kg and 55% kill-out, this is the same as €4.71/kg. Even for your average bullock, the factory equivalent is receiving €4.29/kg.
Sellers with factory-fit cattle really need to look at marts as a viable option when such prices are being received.
Demand is expected to stay high for the coming months and this is very evident in the demand for short-keep lots just shy of that 600kg weight or suitable for a short period of intense feeding.
Factory agents throughout remain very eager for fed cull cows also and are having to compete with a number of keen Northern buyers
Steers again rose more than the heifers on the week. However, they were again working off a higher base, which means the heifers are still selling better on average. Heifers averaged €2.34/kg, with bullocks 5c behind. The top third of lots for both again sold for around that €2.55/kg mark.
As highlighted on the opposite page, Kilkenny last Thursday saw an incredible demand for fit cull cows.
This message was very clear at many other marts across the country too, with heavy lots surpassing the €1,600 mark many time. Such was the demand last week, average price of the better-quality lots on offer rose by 15c/kg to rest at a massive €2.29/kg.
Factory agents throughout remain very eager for fed cull cows also and are having to compete with a number of keen Northern buyers who are continuously on the lookout for that younger continental cow.
If we take a good young 750kg cow killing out at 50%, she would need to make €4.58/kg at the factory to match the upper end of mart prices.