Cattle marts: Exports to Turkey driving light weanling trade

The export of light weanlings between 250-300kg to Turkey has been driving mart prices and a steady trade remains for other cattle.

Cattle numbers in marts across the country are up in recent weeks, with some marts reporting their largest sales of the year.

The special October weanling sale took place in Mohill Mart last Wednesday, while the mart held its annual special dry cow sale over the weekend, the Mart Manager Steven Hannon has said.

“Without the export trade to Turkey trade for weanlings would be very weak. Good Charolais weanlings were making €3/kg while plain Limousins around 280kg were making €700,” he said.

Trade was steady for the cows, it was actually better than we thought it was going to be and we had some great cows in.

Continental cattle which were out of spec, with either age or the number of movements not in their favour for example, were met with a tough trade, he said.

Prices for these cattle varied between €2.00-2.10/kg, while in-spec cattle traded from €2.20-2.30/kg, Hannon said.

Macroom mart reached capacity levels

The number of cattle on offer in Macroom Mart on Saturday was up by 250-450 head compared to usual, according to the Mart Foreman Tim McSweeney.

“We had a very big sale, probably the biggest sale in Macroom in close to 10 years. We were at capacity and more.

“The was plenty of farmer buyers around this week as well a good level of trade from exporters. We would have a lot of buyers coming down from up the country,” he said.

Again the trade for weanlings was driven by the export prospects to the Turkish market, with the lighter weanlings between 280-300kg doing very well, he said.

Sample Steer Prices:
  • Friesian: 415kg – €670 or €1.61/kg
  • Hereford: 430kg – €880 or €2.04/kg
  • Limousin: 545kg – €1125 or €2.06/kg
  • Charolais: 290kg – €780 or €2.69/kg
  • Limousin: 285kg – €810 or €2.84/kg

Heifer weanlings were making anywhere between €2.10-2.40/kg, with the lighter animals again proving the most popular.

Meanwhile, the trade for dry cows also remained steady in Macroom with continental cows making between €330-460 over in some cases.

However, prices were a little more difficult for Friesian dry cows with prices closer to €260 over, McSweeney said.

Good demand for young fleshy cattle in Carenew Mart

There was also a big turnout of cattle in Carnew Mart with 1,070 cattle and close to 70 calves at the sale on Saturday, according to Mart Manager David Quinn.

There was a good demand for young, fleshy animals from factory and feedlot buyers.

Continental stores were making between €2.20-2.30/kg, while there was a duller trade for Hereford and Angus cattle, he said.

Meanwhile, there was 80 cows for sale on Saturday in Carnew with prices varying between €1.30-1.80/kg.

The weekly weanling sale takes place on a Wednesday with close to 680 weanlings booked in, making these sales two of the biggest in Carnew this back end, the Mart Manager said.

Similar to other marts the export trade was driving light weanling prices, he said, with weanlings between 250-300kg making anywhere between €2.50-3.00/kg.

Prices ranged between €2.05-2.50/kg for U grade heifers over 400kg, while heifers under 400kg made between €2.15-2.60/kg.

Despite big numbers this week, Quinn believes cattle numbers in the marts will begin to taper back from here on in.