Cattle Marts: Farmers cautious after Brexit vote but it fails to dampen the trade

Farmers selling cattle were noticeably cautious after last week’s Brexit decision, but it had little impact on the cattle trade in Tullow Mart on Friday, according to the Mart Manager, Eric Driver.

Driver said that the Brexit decision took ‘pride of place’ in the pre-sales talk around the ring, but when it boiled down to the business it had little impact on the trade.

“Store cattle remained dear. Sellers were cautious when they went into the sellers box, but they were happy when they came out,” he said.

Driver also said that the cattle trade remained pretty much on par with last week, with the exception of forward cattle which declined by €10-15/head.

However, he added that the fall in forward cattle prices was more likely due to the quality of animal on offer rather the impact of the Brexit.

The Mart Manager also said that there has been some movement in the export trade, with buyers focusing on Angus type store cattle.

There is a market there for Angus type store cattle. The export market is important as it keeps a floor in the trade.

In the west, the Manager of Mohill Mart, Steven Hannon said the news of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union had little impact on the trade for cattle on Saturday.

Hannon continued to say that the cattle trade on Saturday remained pretty much unchanged from the week before, with the exception of cull cows.

The Mart Manager said that cull cow prices slipped slightly compared to the week before, back by €50-60/head.

However, he added that the fall in cull cow prices had more to do with the extra numbers on offer rather than the impact of Brexit.

Hannon also said that the export trade of cattle from marts in the west to Northern Ireland is unlikely to be affected by the Brexit decision.

Previously, Hannon said Northern Irish buyers purchased a large number of heifers in Mohill Mart, but due to the introduction of a new labelling system this market has all but ceased.

The Northern Irish trade has been gone for the past year and a half due to the nomad cattle issue.

Cattle trade round up

Tullow Mart

Cattle numbers continued to remain steady in Tullow Mart on Friday, with 290 cattle on offer, according to the Mart Manager Eric Driver.

Driver said that forward beef cattle continued to remain in demand with forward steers selling from €800-1,070 over, while the Friesian types sold from €2/kg.

Store steers continue to meet with demand from farmers, he said and steers weighing 380-440kg set the trade, with the majority selling from €2.20-2.60/kg.

Beef and forward heifers sold from €750-980 over, while store heifers made from €2.10-2.65/kg. Some of the U grade lots on offer sold up to €2.90/kg.

Driver said that the exceptional continental type weanlings on offer sold up to a top price of €3/kg, while most lots traded from €2.65-2.90/kg.

Dairy type cull cows sold from €200 over, he said, while the heavy continental lots, which were in demand sold to a top price of €850 over.

 Balla Mart

There was a big sale of cattle on offer in Balla Mart on Saturday, according to the Mart Manager Michael Murphy.

Murphy said there was some good quality cattle on offer and these lots met with a firm trade as there were plenty of buyers present around the ring.

Store steers around 450kg and less made €600-850 over or €1.90-3.16/kg, he said. He added that there was a fine selection of heavy steers on offer and these lots traded from €1.45-2.93/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 275kg – €870 or €3.16/kg
  • Charolais: 365kg – €1,060 or €2.90/kg
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,370 or €2.80/kg
  • Charolais: 670kg – €1,555 or €2.32/kg
  • Charolais: 745kg – €1,620 or €2.17/kg

Murphy added that store heifers remained in a good trade and the averaged from €700-950 over or €1.67-3.01/kg and the forward beef heifers sold from €1.86-3.30/kg.

Murphy said that prices paid for dry cows were down due to lower factory prices. These lots traded from €1.18-2.17/kg.