Cattle marts: Sale sizes continue to increase

Larger entries of cattle were reported in a number of marts across the country in recent days. One venue, in particular, saw cattle numbers double compared to the same time last year.

Beef cattle met a strong trade and prices reflected the demand at the ringside. In some locations prices were up €30-40/head on the previous week.

However, factory buyers moved to drop steer and heifer prices by 5-10c/kg yesterday and this is likely to have an impact on the returns generated from fat cattle sales in the coming days and weeks.

Carnew Mart

Some 670 cattle passed through the ring of Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow on Saturday. The mart manager, David Quinn, reported a very strong trade for beef and store cattle and the prices generated where similar to last week.

Beef and forward steers traded at €600-1,040 over, while similar heifers traded at €620-1,010 over.

Farmers continued to drive the store trade in the Wicklow-based venue and the plainer Friesian types sold for €230-640 over, while better-quality continental steers made €450-870 with the weight.

Saturday’s sale also featured 30 calves. Friesian bulls made €60-180/head, continental bulls made up to €440/head and continental heifers sold for €180-350/head.

A number of cows with calves at foot were also on offer last Saturday and these lots traded for €1,350-1,800. Beef cows sold for €450-960 over on the day.

Castlerea Mart

Some 560 cattle were on offer at last Thursday’s sale in Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon. Numbers and prices showed an increase on the same period last year, according to the mart’s Brendan Egan.

Strong trade was reported for all classes of stock on offer. Prices were up €30-40/head on last week, with strong export, feedlot and farmer demand leading to an improved trade.

Steers on offer on the day witnessed some strong prices – forward steers made up to €1,075 over.

Sample steer prices:
  • One Limousin steer: 450kg – €1,160 or €2.58/kg;
  • One Charolais steer: 495kg – €1,295 or €2.62/kg;
  • One Charolais steer: 500kg – €1,320 or €2.64/kg;
  • One Limousin steer: 535kg – €1,350 or €2.52/kg;
  • One Limousin steer: 560kg – €1,345 or €2.40/kg;
  • One Limousin steer: 610kg – €1,425 or €2.34/kg;
  • One Charolais steer: 795kg – €1,870 or €2.35/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • One Charolais heifer: 340kg – €1,145 or €3.37/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 405kg – €1,080 or €2.67/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 420kg – €1,055 or €2.51/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 475kg – €1,245 or €2.62/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 565kg – €1,345 or €2.38/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 585kg – €1,385 or €2.37/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 615kg – €1,595 or €2.59/kg.

The heifer and dry cow trade also remained firm, Egan reported. Dry cows traded at €1.85-2.20/kg. A 765kg Aberdeen Angus cow sold for €1,640 on the day.

Thursday’s sale also featured a number of calves and good clearances were reported. Young calves made €250-400/head, while stronger types made up to €715/head.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • One Belgian Blue bull: 265kg – €815 or €3.08/kg;
  • One Charolais bull: 275kg – €900 or €3.27/kg;
  • One Charolais bull: 345kg – €1,145 or €3.32/kg;
  • One Limousin bull: 410kg – €1,145 or €2.79/kg;
  • One Limousin bull: 460kg – €1,200 or €2.61/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • One Charolais heifer: 270kg – €815 or €3.02/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 340kg – €995 or €2.93/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 345kg – €1,025 or €2.97/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 385kg – €1,105 or €2.87/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 425kg – €1,100 or €2.59/kg.

Ennis Mart

Last Thursday’s sale at Ennis Mart featured an excellent entry of cattle. Numbers were more than double than seen during the same week last year, according to the mart’s Danny Moran.

Cattle met a slightly easier trade to the week earlier at the Co. Clare venue and quality was a lot more varied.

Sample steer prices:
  • Seven Charolais steers: 462kg – €1,225 or €2.65/kg;
  • Five Limousin steers: 478kg – €1,280 or €2.68/kg;
  • One Blonde d’Aquitaine steer: 495kg – €1,290 or €2.61/kg;
  • Four Limousin steers: 528kg – €1,345 or €2.54/kg;
  • Four Charolais steers: 565kg – €1,420 or €2.51/kg;
  • One Limousin steer: 650kg – €1,625 or €2.50/kg;
  • One Blonde d’Aquitaine steer: 785kg – €1,790 or €2.28/kg;
  • One Charolais steer: 805kg – €1,810 or €2.25/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Three Limousin heifers: 368kg – €965 or €2.62/kg;
  • One Belgian Blue heifer: 435kg – €1,080 or €2.48/kg;
  • Three Limousin heifers: 485kg – €1,190 or €2.45/kg;
  • Four Charolais heifers: 490kg – €1,190 or €2.43/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 505kg – €1,290 or €2.55/kg;
  • One Belgian Blue heifer: 590kg – €1,470 or €2.49/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 650kg – €1,560 or €2.40/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 735kg – €1,590 or €2.16/kg.

There was also an excellent entry of cull cows and aged bulls, Moran said. Good-quality cull cows sold for €1.80-2.00/kg, while the top lots made up to €2.35/kg.

Aged bulls traded at €1.60-2.21/kg on the day. A top price of €1,980 was achieved for a 9-year-old Limousin bull.

Raphoe Mart

Trade held up very well at last Thursday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, with prices on the day reflecting the demand for stock. Farmers, butchers, shippers and factory agents were all very active at the ringside.

Top class bulls (600kg+) made €600-905 with the weight – up marginally on the prices seen the previous week.

Steers were a similar trade and lots sold for €2.10-2.70/kg. Heifer prices were down slightly and prices of €2.20-2.80/kg or €500-865 over were achieved.

Store cattle traded at €350-815 with the weight. A number of dry cows were also on offer last Thursday and these lots sold for €600-1,615/head.