Record prices attract heavier stocks onto the market route

Market numbers in general remained strong last week but more forward/meat beasts are presented.

Eastern Markets managers are observing that more traditional refiners are turning away from the factory road and protecting their investment by unloading some of their heavy inventory through the markets prematurely.

This trend started in earnest in late summer and continued into fall.

Again this year there are these increased numbers of forward-leaning and three-quarter-ready cattle.

While last year was mainly attracted by strong market prices, this year the prices for ready meals are going through the roof.

Another factor is the amount and quality of silage produced that year, given the exorbitant prices charged for fertilizers in the spring.

Two contractors have told me that the quality of some of the silage they cut was questionable – they say under-fertilizer was applied and, despite being stored longer than normal, the crop did not have enough sugar to properly preserve it.

Still, it’s the prices achieved that are the main driving force.

Last week’s results at the ring show that the overall average price for steers from 400 to 599 kg has increased by 6c/kg (or €24 to €36/hour), with the best continental steers in the 400 to 499 kg and 500 up to 599 kg were well over €3.00/h on average. kg at €3.11 or €3.06/kg.

On the heifer side, overall mean values ​​remained the same or decreased by less than 2c/kg.

What happened above 600 kg is more significant.

The 600+ kg steer fell by 2 cents/kg to an average of €2.53/kg, while the 600+ kg heifer remained at €2.70/kg.

With factory base prices largely stuck at €4.80-4.85/kg for steers and heifers, with continued pressure from factories and many yards reporting increased numbers of heavy stock, you might have expected the 600+ kg animal has slipped more.

And it would be normal for any price cut for the heavier steer or heifer at this time of year to have a domino effect on the weights down.

That didn’t happen last week – so why not?

Central Auctions’ Michael Harty is among a cadre of trade market managers who feel those who buy cattle are paying no heed to current factory prices as they appear to be processing factory proceeds from cattle they killed a month to six weeks ago.

Additionally, reports indicate that factory feedlots are not as active as they could be, meaning the strength of market trading rests squarely on the shoulders of farmers and private feedlots.

In the Know – all about the markets


Trade here was dominated by agricultural buyers, with factory masts seeming to limit their activity.

Since buyers appear to be working with factory returns of cattle they killed a month to six weeks ago, continental types with lead time were earning €2.80-3.00/kg.

Quality steers were €3.48/kg, with four Charolais steers weighing 493 kg €1,720/hd.

The number of heavy steers was limited, but 630 kg Friesians were sold for €2.33/kg, 635 kg Herefords fetched €2.49/kg.


Market manager Eoin Kane expected a slight improvement in prices overall, with nice 300-400kg heifers selling for €2.80-3.00/kg and ‘sometimes a bit long on it’.

Top-end heifers over 500 kg fetched €2.80-3.00/kg.

There was great interest in the 78 cull cows in attendance – mainly Charolais – from both suppliers and factories.

Prices ranged from €1,400 to €2,200/hour with most selling between €1,500 and €1,900/hour.

There was an entry of 150 for sale of organic beef, with shop types fetching €2.70-3.10/kg while beef lots sold between €2.60-2.80/kg.


Two 390kg saloon steers were sold for €1,200/h or €3.08/kg in this big sale, with a 455kg Charolais fetching €2.96/kg while a 495kg saloon 2nd €.79/kg.

Among the traditional breeds, three 383 kg Angus fetched €2.50/kg and three 342 kg Herefords averaged €2.75/kg.

On the heavier end, a 585kg Hereford pushed down to €2.65/kg, while a 710kg Friesian earned €2.45/kg.

For the heifers, two 640 kg limousines for €2.65/kg, one 570 kg limousine for €2.70/kg and two other 470 kg limousines for €2.81/kg were the top calls .

Aged bulls from the dairy herd cost an average of €2.12/kg.


The story here was also of improved numbers, with plenty of forward cattle on offer and a continuation of strong prizes in all classes.

Beef bulls were sold for €1,110-1,340/h above €1/kg, while beef heifers earned €960-1,260/h above their weight.

Continental steers earned €560-1,040/h over €/kg, while continental heifers sold at €540-940/h over €/kg.

Bullocks from Hereford and Angus shops sell for €460-820/hour over €/kg while Friesian shops fetch €350-640/hour over the weight.

Fattening cows achieved 660-1,140 €/h more than 660-1,140 €/kg, feed cows 350-600 €/h more than their weight.


Barney O’Connell found that there was a strong trade for forward types, with the better culling cow also showing improvement.

Samples among these culls included a 795kg Angus for €2,030, a 600kg Friesian for €1,300 and a less meaty 700kg Friesian for €1,310.

While good, heavy Friesian cows were between 1.70 and 2.00 €/kg, light, qualitatively poorer milking jobs were again at 1.00 to 1.30 €/kg.

There wasn’t a huge turnout for heavy steers, but those that were there did very well: twelve 667.5kg Herefords fetched €1,580/hr and a further twelve of 704.5kg were sold for €1,650/hr , while fourteen 719 kg Friesians earned €1,510/h. hd.


Entry here over the past week, while overall a little easier, continued the trend of strong numbers of heavy/forward cattle.

Steep and cattle oxen were between €710 and €1,500/h over €2,230 or €3.05/kg for a 730 kg Limousin.

Light continental shops sold between €420 and €880/hour over the €/kg price, while forward-moving Friesian steers fetched €600-740/hour over the weight.

Meat heifers earned €890-1210/h over their weight €/kg, forward types €660-960/h over their weight while lighter heifers were selling from €420-760/h over their weight.

The standout sale on the heifer side saw a 640kg Limousin sold for €1,850 or €2.89/kg.


Although not excessive at 330 head of cattle and 60 calves, prices likely benefited from the reduced numbers, with seven 630kg Friesian steers earning an average of €1,280/hd and three 530kg Herefords earning €1,330/hd while two 800-kg kg Shorthorns earned €1,790/h.

Among the heifers, three Angus at 583 kg fetched €1,520, another three at 590 kg averaged €1,510/h, while two at 510 kg saw the hammer at €1,315/h.

Top calls on the rejected cows side included Friesians at 730 kg and 615 kg for €1,370/hd and €1,400/hd respectively. Record prices attract heavier stocks onto the market route

Fry Electronics Team

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