Cattle marts: Prices hold steady with Northern buyers influencing the market

Cattle prices are holding steady in the country’s marts despite the fall in beef prices, however plainer lots have slipped slightly, while Northern Irish buyers have been seen to a great extent around the ring last week.

Balla Mart had a smaller sale on Saturday with over 700 cattle on offer. According to Mart Manager Michael Murphy there was strong demand for heavy steers on the back of midlands and Northern buyers.

He added that these lots were up by €20-30/head on previous weeks as a result of new faces from Northern Ireland and the midlands around the ring, and these heavy steers made €1.59-2.76/kg or 600-865 over. The lighter store type steers sold from €1.54-2.88/kg.

Heavier heifers also met with a good trade as a result of Northern buyers, with these lots making with these lots making €1.97-2.77c/kg, said Murphy.

Light heifers weighing in the region of 400kg made €500-645 over or €1.87-2.82/kg.

There were 20 cows and calves of offer and the top lot a Belgium Blue and her Angus calf made €1,650. Cull cows in the Mayo venue sold for €1.15-2.58/kg.

Kilkenny Mart had a bigger entry of cattle on Thursday with 790 cattle going through the ring. According to Auctioneer George Candler plainer lots have fallen by €10-25/head, with the greatest fall happening with Friesian type steers.

These lots have fallen by 30c/kg on previous weeks and lots which had previously made €2.00-2.35/kg are now making €1.70-2.00, with very few lots surpassing the €2.00/kg mark, said Candler.

However, despite the reduction in the value of plainer stock the trade for quality steers and heifers remained strong, in part due to reduced numbers of these lots.

Steers weighing above 600kg made €1.90-2.55/kg or €570-965 over, lighter type lots weighing 500-600kg sold for €1.90-2.85/kg or €430-900 over, said Candler.

Lots which weighed 400-500kg made €1.85-2.80/kg or €380-740 over, while the weaning types made €1.80-3.00/kg or €350-720 over.

Beef heifers were in short supply in the Kilkenny venue and this was reflected in the price with lots selling from €1.90-2.48/kg or €500-800 over, said Candler.

Forward store heifers made €1.90-2.60/kg, while the hammer fell on the lighter weaning type stores at €2.00-2.77/kg or €450-700 over.

There was also a selection of continental cull cows up for grabs and these lots made €1.40-1.95/kg, while dairy types made €1.05-1.70/kg.

Macroom Mart had a bigger entry of cattle on Saturday and according to Mart Manager John O’Mahony the trade remained strong across all lots.

Early maturing Angus and Hereford steers made €205-640 over, while the continental lots sold from €235-730 over.

Forward and beef heifers made €230-720 over, with one Limousin heifer weighing 555kg making €1,240, said O’Mahony, while the hammer fell on the dry cows at €70-535 over.

Castlerea Mart had 750 cattle on offer on Thursday and according to Mart Manager Gus Egan prices held firm for most categories of stock.

Egan added that there were increased numbers of weanlings coming on offer with the tops of these lots selling for €2.72-3.52/kg and €2.64-3.88/kg for the bulls and heifers respectively.

Quality continental cattle remained in strong demand, he added, with forward store and beef steers selling from €2.12-2.87/kg, while the hammer falling on their female counterparts at €2.42-2.85/kg.

Breeding stock and dry cows recorded good clearances, said Egan. There was a selection of cows with calves at foot on offer and these lots made €1,400-1,750/unit. The hammer fell on the cull cow lots at €1.65-1.87/kg.

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