The trade in quality cattle – particularly heavy cattle – continues to be amazing.
Uyers seem happy to throw caution to the wind – whether they’re looking to finish, kill, or bet on weed – when it comes to the well-crafted beast with potential.
While these players can be aggressive ringside and run up the money quickly, it’s really the online ones who are leading the charge.
And that doesn’t just happen at the heavy end. Those looking for the better 480-600kg steer or heifer for weed are just as capable of burning mountains of money as their feedlot or factory opponents.
At markets across the country, €3.00/kg for the better processed steer and heifer of over 400kg is now the minimum a seller can expect.
An agent told me about a client – a man with a full-time job and 50cc farm – who told him to buy his usual pasture quota regardless of the price.
When the agent suggested he was likely to lose money at current prices, he was told, “Bring me the cattle. The grass is growing and I want her. If I lose money I just put it against my tax bill at the end of the year.”
That attitude is great for the seller, but will this buyer remember his agent’s advice at the end of the year, “when he calls me to sell and guys look for their silage and feed money”?
Eoin Kane from Drumshanbo reckons that many of those who get the big bucks from killing cows and cattle in his area first move to pay their fertilizer bill and then see them repaired to get replacements to buy.
There was some negative returns at the ring table last week.
Most notable was the decrease of 11 cents/kg to €2.51/kg in the overall average of the 400-499 kg steer, caused by a decrease of 15 cents/kg to €2.03/kg in the lower quality animals , as buyers have been deterred by increasing numbers of substandard dairy herds.
And this theme of buyers focusing on the better steer is repeated throughout the tax table, with lower quality steers in other weight classes also trending down 3-9c/kg.
This was offset by gains of 5-9c/kg in each of the better steers. The better 500kg steer costs an average of €2.94/kg, while those of 500-599kg rise to €3.06/kg, while the better 600kg steer averages €3.19/kg or €1,914 costs.
After trading in heifers stuttered a bit two weeks ago, it rose sharply and gained 6-14 cents/kg over 400 kg.
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Eoin Kane reported better numbers, with more and ‘newer’ buyers active for stock and Angus steers from 560-620kg earning €1,560-1,750/hr.
Among the weaners, the number of bulls was reduced with prices of 2.60-3.30 €/kg. There was a larger show of weaned heifers at €2.60-3.25/kg.
The better continental culling cow was selling for €1,000-1,300/h at €/kg, while cows with calves at foot sold from €1,300/unit, with a peak of €2,700 for Charolais cow with a Charolais bull calf at foot was achieved.
As the grass began to grow, there was an influx of “new men” here too.
As elsewhere, the benchmark for the better steer was €3.00/kg, with a 490kg sedan fetching the highest price at €4.67/kg, followed by a 480kg Charolais at €3.21/kg. kg, while a 475 kg Angus clicked at €3.12/kg.
The highest steer price of the day saw a 723kg Charolais fetching €2,080.
Among the weaners, half of the bulls made €1,000 or more a day, with the top call paying €1,260 for a Limousin.
Those under 500 kg cost an average of €2.85/kg, those of 500-600 kg cost €2.75/kg. Heavier stocks made 2.20-3.08 €/kg.
David Quinn said demand from specialist feeders and mills “remains huge”.
Heavy beef sold for €3.00-3.55/kg while seven 433kg dairy cross Angus heifers fetched €2.51/kg for forage animals.
Angus steers are generally sold for €2.70-2.80/kg, with the top fetching €3.00/kg; 450-550 kg Hereford steers cost €2.40-2.55/kg.
The arrival of the grass resulted in Frisian shops selling between €1.80 and €2.00/kg, with heavier lots costing €2.30/kg. In the lighter classes, David found that Friesians were ‘slightly better’ but the better done light Angus went up to €3.20-3.30/kg.
The main topic of conversation here was the abundance of lighter cattle, but those of quality had little to fear.
with example prices on the steers for those with bAmong the better steers in the R class 405-425kg, Limousines and Charolais made €2.80-3.00/kg. Lighter oxen were €3.20/kg.
For the heifers, top samples included a 635kg Limousin at €1,940, a 595kg Angus at €3.00/kg and a 470kg Charolais at €2.96/kg.
Heavy culling cows reached a peak value of 2.41 €/kg with a 830 kg Saler cross.
A larger than expected sale pushed prices down further, with beef broth averaging €3.00/kg, while heavy steers were selling for €2.20-3.80/kg, while heavy heifers were selling for €2.90-3.65 €/kg achieved.
The better lager steer was in short supply – a reflection of the decline in the suckler herd – resulting in forward-leaning types selling at a top price of €3.45/kg, with lighter lagers fetching €2.25-3.65/kg, while lighter heifers achieved €2.20 -3.50/kg.
Weaned bulls achieved €2.10–3.50/kg, weaned heifers €2.25–3.45/kg. Slaughtered cows are sold for €1.85-2.70/kg.
Although quantities improved and prices rose as well, demand was so great that more stock could easily have been sold.
On the bullocks side of the store, samples included 395-410kg Limousins at €2.78-3.20/kg, with 335kg Limousins accounting for up to €2.84/kg.
For the heifers, a 490 kg sedan fetched €2.69/kg, a 425 kg Charolais €2.68/kg and a 420 kg sedan €2.62/kg.
In terms of weaning, was it a quality difference that a 405kg bull earned €3.14/kg while a second of the same weight only made €2.84/kg?
Brendan Egan reported continued strong numbers and good prices on his various sales last week.
In general, 400-500kg stores earned €2.70-3.00/kg, with top sales earning €3.30/kg.
On the weaning side, quality bulls from 200-260 kg achieved €3.00-3.40/kg, Angus bulls €2.70-3.00/kg.
Brendan noted that the better cull earlier in the year was bringing in around €2,000-2,100/hd; “Now it’s above €2,500 and heading towards €3,000.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/cattle-mart-trade/300kg-the-minimum-for-quality-stock-as-buyers-throw-caution-to-the-wind-41632034.html €3.00/kg is the minimum for quality goods as buyers exercise caution