Cattle marts are getting back into full swing following the Christmas break, and for the most part have kicked off to a positive note.

Mart managers are reporting a generally positive trade with many suggesting that farmer activity has increased around the ring and prices have improved by €20-30/head on the pre-Christmas period.

Balla Mart

Balla Mart held its first cattle sale of 2017 on Saturday and according to the Mart’s Anthony Murphy the trade got off to a good start with a lot of farmer activity about the ring.

Murphy said that store steers were a similar trade to before Christmas, but quality heifer prices were up by €20-40/head.

There was also some excellent heavy steers on offer, he said, and these lots sold from €1,400-1,500/head, while the heavy steers (+500kg) traded from €1.83-2.30/kg.

The store steers (450kg) on offer traded from €400-550 over or €1.73-2.48/kg.

 Sample steer prices:

  • Charolais: 260kg – €740 or €2.85/kg
  • Limousin: 395kg – €980 or €2.48/kg
  • Limousin: 570kg – €1,150 or €2.02/kg
  • Charolais: 660kg – €1,500 or €2.27/kg

In the heifer ring, Murphy said there was a good trade on Saturday with store heifers averaging from €500-700 over or €1.82-2.63/kg, forward heifers traded from €1.92-2.40/kg, while dry cows made €1.45-2.13/kg.

There was also a smaller number of weanlings on offer, he said, with the lighter weanling bulls selling from €2.18-2.78/kg, while the heavier types made from €2.23-3.14/kg.

Tullow Mart

The 2017 cattle trade opened to a very positive note in Tullow Mart on Friday, according to the Mart’s Manager Eric Driver.

Driver said beef cattle were very much in demand, with forward and beef steers trading from €650-1,000 over, while the store lots on offer made €2.00-2.40/kg.

In-spec lots set the trade in the heifers, he said, with these lots selling from €680-940 over, while the store lots on offer sold from €2.10-2.35/kg.

There was also a number of cull cows on offer and the hammer fell on these lots from €100-650 over.

Carnew Mart

Cattle prices also improved by €20-30/head on the pre-Christmas trade in Carnew Mart on Saturday, according to the Mart Manager David Quinn.

Quinn said there was a very strong selling trade with a full clearance for the 450 cattle on offer

Beef and forward steers sold from €650-970 over, he said, while the continental stores sold from €480-850 over and the Hereford and Angus lots traded from €400-600 over.

The plainer Friesian lots on offer made from €250-600 over.

Meanwhile, looking at heifer prices, the forward classes made €550-910 over and the store classes sold from €370-760 over.

The beef cows on offer made €350-810 over, while the lighter store classes sold from €100-450 over, he said.