Cattle marts: Forward cattle prices improve by €20-30/head

Buoyed by factory demand, forward cattle prices have witnessed a noticeable uplift in marts in recent days.

In some cases, beef cattle prices have climbed by €20-30/head as factory agents make their presence felt at the ringside.

Factory prices are edging upwards and, as there has been no major burst of grass cattle just yet, buyers are having to go out to secure numbers.

This week factory heifer prices have started to edge towards the 430c/kg mark, while steer quotes are sitting at 415-420c/kg.

This is likely to have a positive impact at the ringside as the week progresses.

Exporters also continued to remain active this week, with buying for Turkey helping to bolster the trade in some venues.

Tullow Mart

There was a very lively trade in Tullow Mart on Friday, where plenty of farmers and factory agents attended the weekly cattle sale.

Beef and forward steer prices were fully maintained at last week’s levels, while some of the prices achieved for forward lots had climbed by €20-30/head on the previous sale.

Store steers continued to sell very briskly and there was a lot of farmer custom evident on the day. The majority of Hereford and Angus types sold for €2.10-2.70/kg, while the Limousin and Charolais steers traded up to €3/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Three Charolais steers: 620kg – €1,580 or €2.55/kg.
  • One Limousin steer: 635kg – €1,650 or €2.60/kg.
  • One Charolais steer: 620kg – €1,580 or €2.54/kg.
  • Two Charolais steers: 455kg – €1,165 or €2.56/kg.
  • Two Charolais steers: 390kg – €1,080 or €2.77/kg.

Beef and forward heifer prices were also maintained and some even improved by €10-20/head on the previous week’s sale. The Hereford and Angus types sold for about €600 over, while the good quality continentals made upwards of €950 over.

Store heifers also continued to hold steady. The plainer Hereford and Angus lots traded at €2.15/kg and up, while the Charolais and Limousin heifers sold up to €2.80/kg.

A number of cows also passed through the ring in the Co. Carlow venue. Friesian types opened at €1.50/kg, while one Charolais cow (700kg) sold for €1,420 or €2.03/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Some 530 cattle were on offer in Castlerea Mart on Thursday, where the trade held firm for all of the classes of stock on offer.

Grass buyers continued to have an active role around the ring and, as a result, some prices improved by €20-30/head on the previous week’s sale.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 485kg – €1,295 or €2.67/kg.
  • Charolais: 380kg – €1,155 or €3.04/kg.
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,270 or €2.44/kg.
  • Belgian Blue: 510kg – €1,240 or €2.43/kg.
  • Charolais: 580kg – €1,465 or €2.53/kg.
  • Angus: 570kg – €1,400 or €2.46/kg.

A number of heifers also passed through the ring on Thursday. The best of the forward lots sold for €2.49-2.60/kg and the lighter lots traded at €2.62-2.73/kg.

A small number of in-calf cows were also on offer. These lots traded up to €1,300/head.

Balla Mart

Exporters continued to drive the trade in Balla Mart on Saturday. As has been the case in previous weeks, steer prices remained strong in the Co. Mayo venue and light heifer prices also improved by €20-30/head due to export demand.

Store steers (up to 400kg) made up to €760 over or an average price of €2.59/kg and the heavier lots (400-500kg) averaged €2.35/kg. Forward steer prices were well up on the previous week’s sale and these lots averaged €2.30/kg.

Some 200 heifers also passed through the ring on Saturday. The trade for these lots had improved due to the presence of buyers sourcing cattle for a shipment to Turkey.

Heifers weighing up to 400kg sold averaged €2.59/kg, heavier heifers (400-500kg) sold for an average price of €2.36/kg and the forward lots (500kg+) made €2.65/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 290kg – €900 or €3.10/kg.
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,095 or €2.81/kg.
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,260 or €2.63/kg.
  • Charolais: 585kg – €1,545 or €2.64/kg.
  • Limousin: 680kg – €1,665 or €2.45/kg.

A number of cows and calves were also on offer on the day. The best of these was an eight-year-old Charolais cow with a Charolais bull calf at foot. This pair sold for €2,340. The best dry cow on offer was a November-2004 born Charolais. This cow sold for €1,820 or €2.07/kg.