Cattle marts: Deteriorating weather fails to dampen mart trade

Despite deteriorating weather conditions in some areas, the cattle trade has remained very strong for all stock in recent days.

Mart managers have reported good clearances with prices holding firm. Lighter bulls, suitable for export, proved to be very popular and lots falling into the 300-330kg bracket made upwards of €3/kg.

Tullow Mart

A show and sale of weanlings took place in Tullow Mart on Friday last. Eric Driver, the mart manager, said numbers had increased on last year’s sale, with prices following suit.

Fancy E and U-grade bulls made in excess of €3/kg; the remainder made €2.75-2.90/kg. Exceptional R and U-grade bulls, he said, sold for €2.40-2.70/kg.

Driver added that the number of light and plain cattle on offer was low; these animals sold for €2.20-2.40/kg. Bulls weighing 300-330kg, destined for export, met a firm trade and sold for €2.30-3.00/kg.

Carnew Mart

Some 840 cattle went under the hammer in Carnew Mart in Co. Wicklow on Saturday – a number similar to the previous week’s sale.

David Quinn, the mart manager, said beef and quality stores were very much in demand. However, plainer cattle met a similar trade to the week previous.

Continental store bullocks made €450-870 over, while Friesian steers sold for €150-550 along with their weight.

Heifers were reported to trade well; stores made €300-840 over.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 550kg – €1,140 or €2.07/kg;
  • Limousin: 475kg – €1,210 or €2.50/kg;
  • Charolais: 536kg – €1,175 or €2.19/kg;
  • Angus: 532kg – €1,050 or €1.97/kg.

Beef cows fetched €350-880 over, while store cows made €130-430 over. Quinn said: “Cows with calves at foot traded between €1,150 and €1,750.”

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 400kg – €1,010 or €2.50/kg;
  • Limousin: 676kg – €1,430 or €2.10/kg;
  • Limousin: 562kg – €1,220 or €2.17/kg;
  • Hereford: 406kg – €800 or €2.16/kg.

Castlerea Mart

A large number of cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon on Thursday. Despite the recent inclement weather, trade remained very strong for all cattle types.

In the weanling ring, high numbers were on offer and both the trade and prices held firm. Farmers also had an increased interest in runners and continental lots proved to be most popular.

Hereford Angus cross runners made €300-525 and the continentals made up to €760.

Sample bull weanling prices:
  • Charolais: 290kg – €1,040 or €3.58/kg;
  • Charolais: 425kg – €1,130 or €2.65/kg;
  • Charolais: 285kg – €1,000 or €3.50/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 430kg – €1,150 or €2.67/kg.

According to the mart’s Brendan Egan, cows with calves at foot made €950-1,750. In-calf cows made up to €1,300/head. Dry cows sold well and a top price of €1,560 was paid for a Limousin cow weighing 880kg.

Balla Mart

Saturday, September 16, saw approximately 800 cattle go under the hammer at Balla Mart, Co. Mayo. According to the mart’s Anthony Murphy, the feature of the sale was the exceptional cattle on offer in the cow and heifer rings.

Some 300 heifers were on offer at Saturday’s sale. Lots weighing 400kg sold for an average price of €2.22/kg, €2.24/kg was achieved for 400-500kg heifers and the heavier lots (500kg+) sold for an average price of €2.13/kg.

In addition, 90 cows were also on offer. A top price of €1,720 was paid for a February 2017 born Limousin cow and a Charolais bull calf.

Murphy added that there was some serious stock on offer in the dry cow section of the sale; the average price achieved for these animals was €1.81/kg.

Macroom Mart

A large sale took place at Macroom Mart on Saturday. Approximately 800 cattle went under the hammer with a “nice” sale being reported. Numbers were up; mainly due to wet conditions in the days leading up to the sale.

Dry cows started trading at €75 with the weight and made a top price of €785 with the weight. Topping these was a Charolais cow weighing 915kg; this cow sold for €1,700 or €1.86/kg.

Weanling bulls sold for €135-605 over, while the heifers on offer sold at €145-515 over.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais bulls: 420kg – €1,020 or €2.42/kg;
  • Limousin bulls: 343kg – €945 or €2.75/kg;
  • Limousin heifers: 262kg – €760 or €2.90/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 425kg – €900 or €2.11/kg.

Friesian steers sold for €125-370 over and Angus and Hereford lots made €220-585 over. Prices of €240-683 were achieved for the continental types on offer.