Cattle marts: Exporters drive the trade at the ringside

Competition among buyers for quality stock drove the cattle trade over recent days and mart managers have reported good clearance rates right across the board.

Exporters have made their presence felt as they finalise a consignment of bulls for Turkey. In addition, these buyers have also commenced sourcing weanling bulls for the Turkish market.

With grass growth soaring, farmers are not yet finished buying cattle for grass and mart managers have noted that suitable lots have met an increased demand.

However, heavier beef cattle numbers have been reported to have decreased; where these lots were available, they met a brisk trade.

Castlerea Mart

A large number of cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday (April 26). The trade was reported as brisk, especially for store and weanling heifers.

Weanling heifers sold to a top price of €4.17/kg, while the trade for weanling bulls was driven by exporter demand.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 410kg – €1,215 or €2.96/kg;
  • Limousin: 420kg – €1,240 or €2.95/kg;
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,235 or €3.16/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,370 or €2.85/kg.

A good clearance rate was achieved in the weanling rings and a strong trade was reported.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 290kg – €940 or €3.24/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 280kg – €1,090 or €3.89/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 265kg – €930 or €3.50/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 295kg – €970 or €3.28/kg.

According to the mart’s Brendan Egan, cows with calves at foot made up to €2,000/head and in-calf cows traded for €800-1,720/head.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 440kg – €900 or €2.04/kg;
  • Limousin: 760kg – €1,515 or €1.99/kg;
  • Limousin: 790kg – €1,545 or €1.95/kg;
  • Simmental: 700kg – €1,430 or €2.04/kg.

In the calf ring, dairy cross calves traded for €20-145/head. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford types sold for €150-320/head, while continental calves made up to €400/head on the day.

Carnaross Mart

The trade was reported to be brisk for all types of stock at Carnaross Mart on Monday last. 400 animals were on offer in the bullock ring and the trade was driven by farmers.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 360kg – €1,050 or €2.91/kg;
  • Charolais: 330kg – €960 or €2.90/kg;
  • Charolais: 460kg – €1,280 or €2.78/kg;
  • Charolais: 510kg – €1,380 or €2.70/kg;
  • Charolais: 650kg – €1,490 or €2.29/kg.

Moving to heifers, an excellent trade was reported – especially for the lighter store lots. On the day, 270 heifer lots went under the hammer.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 300kg – €1,010 or €3.36/kg;
  • Limousin: 535kg – €1,400 or €2.61/kg;
  • Charolais: 460kg – €1,265 or €2.75/kg;
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,315 or €2.68/kg;
  • Simmental: 235kg – €1,010 or €4.29/kg.

100 dry cows were on offer and these lots sold to a top price of €1,630. This price was achieved by a Belgian Blue cow weighing 715kg.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 520kg – €1,095 or €2.10/kg;
  • Limousin: 610kg – €1,340 or €2.19/kg;
  • Limousin: 660kg – €1,420 or €2.15/kg;
  • Parthenaise: 705kg – €1,620 or €2.29/kg.

Some 270 calves were also on offer. Friesian calves – suitable for export – traded at €50-170/head, while farmers were willing to pay €120-210/head to secure Friesian bulls.

Angus and Hereford bulls sold to a top price of €360, Angus heifers made a top price of €410/head and Hereford heifers sold to a high of €400/head.

Raphoe Mart

Last Tuesday’s weanling sale at Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a smaller entry of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

She added: “The last weanling sale of the season met an excellent trade for all of the stock on offer. Farmers, agents and shippers all competed for stock.”

Bulls traded for €2.30-3.30/kg, while their female counterparts sold for €2.35-3.25/kg.

At the cattle sale on Thursday, April 26, top-class bulls – weighing over 600kg – sold for €705-1,105 over, the mart manager stated. Beef bullocks made €670-975 over and lighter stores made €400-900 along with their weight.

Moving to heifers, beef lots made €515-925 over and store lots traded at €350-880 over. Dry cows sold for €600-1,665/head.

Kilrush Mart

The trade was reported to be brisk at Kilrush Mart on Wednesday, April 25. Heifers and bullocks were reported to be in demand, with prices similar to previous weeks.

Sample steer prices:
  • Hereford: 462kg – €945 or €2.04/kg;
  • Charolais: 342kg – €875 or €2.55/kg;
  • Limousin: 405kg – €1,125 or €2.77/kg.
  • Friesian: 360kg – €720 or €2.00/kg.

Furthermore, whitehead and Angus calves traded for €130-250/head, while continental calves made a top price of €375/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 335kg – €855 or €2.55/kg;
  • Hereford: 373kg – €810 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 315kg – €780 or €2.47/kg;
  • Friesian: 425kg – €580 or €1.36/kg.

The mart’s manager Martin McNamara reported a full clearance in the dry cow ring and all types were in high demand.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 530kg – €940 or €1.77/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 905kg – €1,640 or €1.81/kg;
  • Charolais: 720kg – €1,020 or €1.41/kg;
  • Friesian: 525kg – €765 or €1.45/kg.

Balla Mart

Approximately 1,100 cattle were on offer at Saturday’s (April 28) sale at Balla Mart. The mart manager, Micheal Murphy, reported that there was some good-quality cattle on offer and quality bullocks, over the 450kg mark, were a “rob”.

Store bullocks were a similar trade to weeks gone by; store lots (up to 400kg) sold for an average price of €2.65/kg and the heavier lots (400-500kg) traded at €2.40/kg on average. Murphy added that beef bullocks (upwards of 500kg) averaged €2.37/kg on the day.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 290kg – €1,000 or €3.45/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €1,240 or €3.26/kg;
  • Charolais: 575kg – €1,570 or €2.73/kg.
  • Charolais: 665kg – €1,675 or €2.52/kg.

450 heifers went under the hammer and lots weighing up to 400kg sold for an average price of €2.50/kg; the heavier lots (400-500kg) traded at €2.43/kg on average, while heifers (upwards of 500kg) made an average price of €2.44/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 495kg – €1,400 or €2.83/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 295kg – €955 or €3.24/kg;
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,190 or €3.05/kg;
  • Limousin: 560kg – €1,585 or €2.83/kg.

In addition, some 130 cows went under the hammer last week and Murphy said the best of these was a September-2014 born, Charolais cow. Accompanied by her heifer calf, the pair sold for €1,800.

The best of the dry cows, he said, was a 990kg, May-2008 born, Charolais cow; she made €2,210.