Another week of Level 5 where all animals are being offered for sale on line with nothing but 250 empty blue seats in front of you.
This is the scenario that auctioneers find themselves in due to the present restrictions caused by Covid-19. It is very difficult to introduce the atmosphere that is created when a number of ringside bidders are anxious to secure a specific animal. As an auctioneer you like to see your bidders in the flesh which will not happen until at least early December at the earliest.
On Monday we held our weekly sheep sale which proved to be an electric trade with a 100% clearance. Lambs peaked at €128 with cull ewes to a top of €139. The reason for the excellent trade is scarcity; as I have always said the trade will always be dictated by supply and demand. Long may it continue. This year will be recorded in the record books as an excellent year for the sheep producer and with respect not before time.
Our Tuesday weanling sales are attracting smaller numbers which is due to the fact that scores of suckler herds in this part of the country have been dispersed with the younger generation of farmers entering the dairy industry which they feel is a better sector for extra income.
The heavy weanling bull is difficult to sell with anything in excess of €2.10 per kilo a bonus. On the other hand lighter quality bulls and heifers are ranging from €2.25 to €2.80 with some smart lots to a top of €3.00 per kilo. Last week a selection of Friesian bullocks weighing 215 kilo made €2.10 per kilo or €450 per head.
Thursday cattle sale was a smaller affair but trade remains very firm especially for forward store continental bullocks and heifers. In the bullock ring prices are ranging from €2.15 to €2.40 per kilo with the better type heifer peaking at €2.35 per kilo.
Cull cow numbers have started to increase with many Friesian types being dried off and lacking flesh ranging from €0.80 to €1.10 per kilo with the better types to €1.40 per kilo. The continental cow is ranging from €1.20 to €1.90 per kilo with the top quality lot to €2.00 per kilo.
Remember, all animals need to be entered with cattle to be booked in by 3.30pm on Wednesday and weanlings before the same time on Monday.
Until next time keep safe. Good buying, good selling and good luck.