The numbers have bounced back in places over the past week, although a good number of outlets also reported strong turnouts.
But prices were stronger regardless whether the turnout was greater than expected.
There are generally big sales at this time of year, which often causes prices to drop as the market balances these offers against demand.
However, the bulk of the additional entries over the past week have come in the form of culled cows, leaving buyers looking for steers or heifers fishing from a reduced pool.
It’s another example of livestock trading breaking expected norms in 2022.
Food supply and food safety concerns have pushed food inflation to nearly 10 percent this year – finally reminding consumers in the developed world that a steady food supply is a vital necessity, not an afterthought.
This resulted in factory base beef prices of up to €5.40/kg, while the prices of butchered cows in the markets went crazy and their price in the factories ran parallel to prime beef for much of the year.
Also, traditional fall or “back-end” trading in markets began in late August, a full month earlier than normal. The domino effect is now reflected in the number of steers and heifers available.
Listowel’s Barney O’Connell is one of several mart managers noting another trend this autumn: “We’re seeing increasing online buying from feedlots and larger independent operators for Angus and Herefords once they don’t have too many moves in sight and are quality assured.
“That means we sell 30-50 of our Angus and Herefords to online customers.”
All of this explains why the overall average price for steers from 300 to 599 kg has increased over the past week, with continental cattle averaging 6 cents a kg better, at €2.54 to €2.59/kg.
Although the top 300-399 kg fell 3 cents/kg to €2.98/kg, the better continental 400-599 kg were 5-12 cents/kg or €20-72/h stronger.
Crucial to this rise was news that factory prices had finally started to move higher.
This is most evident in the over 600kg section of our steer price chart below, with last week’s overall average for continental fish being €2.59/kg, 11 cents/kg higher than last week.
However, if you wanted a truly premium continental R+ or U grade you were looking at a 21c/kg increase as your overall average rose to €2.96/kg.
Average Hereford or Angus steers over 600kg rose 7 cents/kg to €2.30/kg, while the better animal rose 14 cents/kg to €2.54/kg.
Friesian shops of 300-399 kg were on average 9 cents/kg higher at €1.60/kg, while the 400-499 kg Friesian shops were up 4 cents/kg to €1.76/kg. However, those from 500 to 599 kg slipped by 2c/kg to €1.89/kg.
Average prices at the heifer table increased by a total of 9 cents/kg to €2.34/kg from 350 to 399 kg, driven by the demand for quality. This increased the top average values for continental bottles by 27c/kg to €2.98/kg.
In the Know – all about the markets
A good sale dominated by culled cows. Feeder type 600kg drumsticks sell for €1.00-1.30/kg, with fleshed factory types for €0.70-1.80/kg.
On the steer side, 500kg Angus – the target of feedlot buyers – averaged around €2.30/kg, while lighter dairy Angus of 400-420kg farmers were bidding at €2.00/kg.
As many dairy farmers have switched part of the breeding to Angus and Hereford, the number of Friesian calves born has decreased, which means that there is less stock, here 500 kg Friesian steers are sold for €1.60-1.70/kg .
The number here reached 280, with mart manager David Faulken reporting a full release.
Better oxen cost between 2.60 and 2.80 €/kg, inferior oxen between 2.10 and 2.30 €/kg.
There was plenty to do on the heifer side, with the better breeding heifers yielding €3.78-4.13/kg, as with a 475kg and a 540kg heifer at €1,800 and €2,230/h respectively.
On the beef side, 500 kg R+ to U heifers sold for €2.90-3.00/kg, while smaller animals fetched €2.20-2.40/kg.
Among the slaughter cows, the best continental cows scored €2.48/kg, the smaller cows about €2.00/kg, while the Friesians scored €1.60-1.70/kg.
The entry here was 270, with slaughter cows dominating, particularly dairy types.
On the heifer and steer side, most were younger, lighter types.
Example prices among the heavier slaughter cows were a 670kg sedan at €2.37/kg and an 830kg Charolais at €2.20/kg.
Among the more in-store varieties, a 630kg Limousine fetched €2.57/kg, while 535kg Friesian and Simmental averaged €1.46/kg and €2.13/kg respectively; and then there was this 515kg jersey that sold for €910 or €1.77/kg.
The best heifer was a Charolais weighing 515 kg for €1,200, followed by two Limousin crosses weighing 495 kg for €1,120/hd.
The increased demand caused the prices here to rise by 20-30 €/h.
On the steer side, beef sold for €1,040-1,300/hr over €1,110/hr over their weight, while continental stores were selling €1,110/hr over their weight, while Light Hereford and Angus were €300-580/hr over €1,000/kg scored .
Lighter Friesians start at €290/hr over weight, beef grades are €900/hr over €900/kg.
Among the heifers, beef sold between €760 and €1,010/h over their weight, with continental stores selling €400-820/h and up, while Hereford and Angus lager heifers sold between €300 and €580/h over €/kg .
Crop sales here saw strong activity from both growers and shippers, resulting in higher prices.
Numbers were strong as sellers responded to the need to remove stock from land due to inclement weather and the cost of continuing to feed.
The number of better bulls over 300 kg continues to decrease, with peaks averaging €3.50/kg, while the bulls from 350 to 450 kg average €2.79/kg and the heavier bulls €2.51/kg costs.
The lighter 200-350 kg bull cost an average of €2.94/kg.
For the heifers, weaners from 200 to 350 kg cost an average of €2.78/kg and those from 350 to 450 kg cost an average of €2.60/kg.
The consistently strong demand ensured that prices were held up well and improved in places.
Top calls among the heavy club cows included an 80kg sedan at €2.51/kg and a 770kg sedan cross at €2.25/kg, while better made stock clubs at 2.10-2 .35 €/kg were sold.
Among the heifers, further feeding quality from 2.50-3.00/kg.
It was similar for steers as demand from feedlots and farmers saw quality stocks increase from 420-620kg to €2.60-3.00/kg.
Price examples for the bull weaners were a 370 kg Charolais for €3.23/kg, a 340 kg sedan for €3.09/kg and a 325 kg Charolais for €2.95/kg.
With 838 cattle on offer and strong demand on Saturday, continental beef and Forward steers were selling between €1,650-2,380/hr with continental stores fetching €1,050-1,650/hr.
Heavy Angus steers sell for €1,350-1,680/hour, in Angus shops €850-1,300/hour.
On the heifer side, continental forward and beef varieties were selling for €1,650-2,250/hr, with continental stores fetching €970-1,580/hr.
Forward and Beef Angus heifers earned €1,250-1,740/hr with stores ranging from €750-1,180/hr.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/cattle-mart-trade/2022-trade-bucks-the-trend-again-with-rise-in-mart-prices-42144053.html In 2022, trade bucks the trend again with an increase in market prices