Stronger prices for store cattle

Supplies of store cattle on offer in the marts have dropped off sharply in most regions of the country, but any easing in the prices being paid over recent weeks, has been reversed with demand for bullocks exceeding the supply at the sales.

Medium and forward store bullocks with a premia are selling at up to €550 over €/kg for the quality continental animals with plenty of competition from farmers at the ringsides.

Some of the prices being paid for the double punched heavy bullocks are even harder to understand with up to €600 over €/kg still being paid for choice lots scaling at around 600-650kgs. The only 'envelope money' left on the backs of these animals is the €80/head slaughter premia. It does not take a lot of calculations to show that after the balances of cost versus weight gain is factored in, these animals will need to realise a factory price of at least 110p/lb for to break even.

There was an excellent trade for the bullocks and an improved trade for heifers at Fermoy Mart yesterday. The medium weight store bullocks with a premia sold for up to €530 over €/kg one lot of five 400kg Charolais with a premia made €930 and a lot of six Limousin weighing 450kgs sold for €955 while the lighter weights with both premia left made up to €470 over. Butchers' heifers improved and sold at €200-€315 over, with store heifers selling for up to €250 over.

The forward single punched bullocks made up to €430 over at Kanturk yesterday, while the lighter animals with a premia peaked at €410 over. Beef heifers sold for €180-€260 over €/kg, with stores making up to €290 over for the tops. In the west prices for double punched and single punched bullocks were improved by €20/head at Athenry, where the heavy single punched made up to €590 over. Heifers sold at €240-€330 over.

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