Entries down but prices still slump

50 August 6 1968 Slump SM Farm

Entries dropped substantially at the majority of last week’s Northern Ireland provincial fat cattle sales but despite this prices took another slump.

Almost all overall averages were down by around five shillings per cwt while Newtownards, which had a particularly high average the previous week, reported a drop of over 10 shillings per cwt.

The continued spell of hot, clammy weather conditions again was responsible for keeping consumer buying of beef down and this was reflected at some marts by none too enthusiastic bidding by butchers.

A spokesman at Strabane sale on Friday reported an “up-down” trade with bullocks maintaining their prices but rates for heifers tending cheaper.

Top price of the auction and best individual price of the provincial marts was obtained by a nine-cwt Aberdeen-Angus bullock from the farm of Mr J Aiken, Douglas Bridge, Strabane, which was sold to a shipping agent for £9-19s per cwt.

Another producer at Strabane mart, Mr J O’Flaherty, sold six bullocks at an average price of just over £9-7s per cwt. Mr O’Flaherty also received prices ranging from £8-5s to £8-9s for five heifers.

At last week’s sheep auctions, smaller entries failed to arrest the recent price slump and averages dropped heavily nearly everywhere.

At Limavady for example, 273 animals on offer averaged 2s-7d per lb – a drop of threepence per lb on the week.

Three-figure prices were slightly less plentiful at last week’s dairy cattle sales but trade was equally as good as in recent weeks.

Bidding remained steady at last week’s store cattle auctions and prices for top quality imported – and

home-bred stock were around £9-0s per cwt.

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