Autumn hopes rise as stores pick up

Prices for store cattle look promising for the autumn in Galway's marts
Prices for store cattle look promising for the autumn in Galway's marts

THE prospects for the autumn store cattle sales have improved following the shock waves caused by the UK Brexit decision last June, according to close observers of the trade.

Marts across Galway have reported a very lively trade for store cattle over the past couple of weeks while prices at the factories have also firmed up this week.

Athenry Mart Manager, Alan Barry, told the Farming Tribune that after the initial ‘hit’ in confidence following the UK Brexit decision, the market had been very solid over recent weeks.

“The UK Brexit decision also coincided with the midsummer period when there is a traditional lull in the trade.

“However over the past couple of weeks, the trade has been quite solid with a very lively demand for stores, which is always a positive indicator,” said Alan Barry.

He also said that in the context of the upcoming autumn weanling sales, there would be a strong demand for the lighter, quality bull weanlings from the Turkish exporters.

There have been some fears expressed that the arrival on the market of Friesiany/Black Whitehead calves from 2015, could take the edge off the market in the last quarter of this year.

Galway IFA Livestock Committee Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune there was reasonable optimism that the good quality continental type weanlings would secure good prices this autumn.

“I suppose that everyone was taken aback a bit with the Brexit decision, but since then, the trade has settled down and it’s always a good sign to see store cattle selling well,” said Michael Flynn.

Galway IFA Chairman, Pat Murphy, said at this stage the ‘shock had gone out of’ of the Brexit decision with the cattle trade quite solid even it was early days in terms of the autumn weanling sales.

“The cattle numbers just aren’t out there to supply the factories. The only reason the factories are trying to pull prices is to put the pressure on the store trade but demand is good and things look reasonably optimistic for the autumn period,” said Pat Murphy.

On Monday last, Tuam Mart reported bullocks making €870 over the weight with heifers going €680 ‘over’. Culled cows – that had taken a big ‘hit’ through the Summer – made up to €1,140 this week in Tuam.

At Headford Mart last weekend, bullocks and heifers made in the region of €750 over the weight with suckler cows and culled cows both touching the €1,350 mark.

Loughrea Mart reported a ‘slight lift’ in beef cattle with a strong demand for quality AAx heifers (up to €1,440) while there was also a pick-up in the cull cow trade.