Cattle marts: Forward and beef stock popular among buyers

Like recent weeks, there has been a decrease in the number of cattle presented for sale at cattle marts across the country.

However, with the recent good weather and strong grass growth, farmers have been busy sourcing store-type cattle.

Beef and factory-fit cattle have remained a firm trade, while plainer cattle – particularly lots of dairy origin – have proved more difficult to move.

Good-quality, forward continental cattle have remained a steady trade. Buoyed by exporter demand, weanlings – being sourced for the Turkish market – are proving popular among these buyers.

The bullock trade has remained steady, with heavier lots proving to be the most popular among buyers.

Buoyed by the demand for beef, butcher lots have also remained popular. However, mart managers have noted that these animals have become scarce.

Tullow Mart

Some 500 cattle were on offer at Tullow Mart on Friday, May 18. According to the mart’s manager Eric Driver, the trade was “holding steady”.

Friesian forward bullocks sold for €1.80/kg upwards, while good-quality continental bullocks fetched €2.25-2.30/kg. Continental store bullocks – weighing over 400kg – proved to be popular among buyers.

In general, Angus store bullocks sold from €1.85/kg upwards. On the day, Hereford steers traded for €2.00-2.25/kg, while some “smashing” lots made close to €3.00/kg.

In the heifer ring, beef and forward types traded for €800-1,020 over. Hereford and Angus store lots sold for €2.00-2.20/kg, while continental types generally made €2.50-2.75/kg.

Heifers weighing 300-450kg were very popular with farmers, with some quality lots selling for €2.90/kg.

In the cull cow ring, Friesian feeder type lots traded for €150 over, while younger Friesian cows made €350-400 along with their weight. Continental cows sold for €250-870 over.

Moving to the calf trade, Friesian bulls – suitable for export – sold for €85-130/head. Angus and Hereford heifers traded for €120-250/head, while early-maturing bulls sold for €200 upwards.

Continental heifer calves sold for €280-350, while continental bulls sold to a top call of €400.

Castlerea Mart

900 cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday (May 17). The trade was reported to be unchanged, with quality store cattle proving popular.

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan noted that there was an increase in the number of breeding stock on offer.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,375 or €2.80/kg;
  • Limousin: 390kg – €1,120 or €2.87/kg;
  • Charolais: 640kg – €1,670 or €2.60/kg;
  • Limousin: 540kg – €1,360 or €2.51/kg.

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

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 330kg – €960 or €2.90/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 280kg – €835 or €2.98/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 295kg – €1,000 or €3.38/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 435kg – €1,170 or €2.68/kg.

According to Brendan, cows with calves at foot made up to €2,200/unit.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 780kg – €1,795 or €2.30/kg;
  • Limousin: 750kg – €1,705 or €2.27/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 985kg – €1,945 or €1.97/kg;
  • Charolais: 690kg – €1,515 or €2.19/kg.

In the calf ring, dairy cross calves traded for €80-125/head. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford types sold for €150-320/head, while continental calves made up to €620/head on the day.

Macroom Mart

Macroom Mart’s sale took place on Saturday last (May 19). Dry cows traded at €50-1,030 along with the weight and a Charolais cow – weighing 935kg – made the top price on the day; she sold for €1,965.

Moving to the bullock trade, early-maturing lots sold for €265-695 over, while continental types made €325-840 over. An Aubrac steer – weighing 750kg – made €1,590.

In the heifer ring, heifers traded for €235-760 along with the weight. A Simmental heifer, weighing 560kg, sold for €1,320, while two Charolais heifers traded for €1,210/head. They weighed 500kg.

In the calf ring, Friesian bulls – suitable for export – sold for €70-135/head, while farmers were willing to pay up to €275/head to secure lots. Hereford and Angus bulls made €140-315/head, while their female counterparts traded for €105-280/head.

Furthermore, continental bull and heifer calves sold for up to €400/head and €360/head respectively.

Carnaross Mart

The trade was reported to be steady for all types of stock at Carnaross Mart on Monday last. Over 1,000 animals were on offer.

The mart’s manager Hugh McNern outlined that numbers are running at the upper end of the scale given the time of year.

Some 350 bullocks went under the hammer at the Meath-based venue and a 94% clearance rate was reported. Good-quality bullocks proved popular among farmers, while plainer types proved a more difficult trade.

An 835kg Limousin bullock made the top price on the day; he sold for €2,075 (€2.48/kg). In addition, a Charolais bullock – weighing 740kg – traded for €1,915 (€2.58/kg).

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 300kg – €870 or €2.90/kg;
  • Charolais: 320kg – €920 or €2.87/kg;
  • Limousin: 400kg – €1,080 or €2.70/kg;
  • Limousin: 510kg – €1,340 or €2.62/kg;
  • Charolais: 565kg – €1,510 or €2.67/kg;
  • Limousin: 360kg – €905 or €2.51/kg;
  • Charolais: 500kg – €1,350 or €2.70/kg.

Moving to heifers, the trade was reported to be steady. Again, good-quality lots achieved the highest prices, while plainer lots were more difficult to sell. Like last week, beef heifers presented for sale were few and far between.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 350kg – €950 or €2.71/kg;
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,295 or €2.64/kg;
  • Charolais: 400kg – €1,095 or €2.73/kg;
  • Charolais: 540kg – €1,405 or €2.60/kg;
  • Charolais: 615kg – €1,500 or €2.43/kg;
  • Charolais: 640kg – €1,550 or €2.42/kg.

The dry cow trade was reported to be firm and 90 cows were on offer; a 100% clearance was achieved in this ring.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Parthenaise: 670kg – €1,440 or €2.14/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,130 or €2.17/kg;
  • Limousin: 610kg – €1,300 or €2.13/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 690kg – €1,570 or €2.27/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 530kg – €1,125 or €2.12/kg.

Some 309 calves were also on offer and a 96% clearance rate was recorded. Friesian bull calves sold to a top call of €265/head.

Sample calf prices:
  • Angus bull: €480;
  • Angus heifer: €470;
  • Hereford bull: €330;
  • Hereford heifer: €310;
  • Limousin bull: €445;
  • Limousin heifer: €395.

Balla Mart

Over 1,000 cattle were on offer at Saturday’s (May 19) sale at Balla Mart. There were a lot of bullocks under the 400kg mark, according to the mart’s Anthony Murphy.

Heavy bullocks (>500kg) sold for an average price of €2.41/kg; the heavier store lots (400-500kg) traded at an average price of €2.34/kg, while bullocks weighing 300-400kg averaged €2.60/kg.

300 heifers went under the hammer at the Mayo-based venue. Heifers weighing up to 400kg averaged €2.47/kg; heifers weighing 400-500kg averaged €2.43/kg. In addition, beef heifers (>500kg) also sold for €2.58/kg on average.

Cattle marts, tb, ammonia plan

In addition, over 180 cows went under the hammer on Saturday last. The best of these, he said, was a March-2011 born Limousin cow. Accompanied by her Belgian Blue bull calf, this pair sold for €2,300. Dry cows sold to a top call of €1,785.

100 weanling bulls were also presented for sale. The trade was reported to be good and, generally speaking, they sold for €2.40-2.72/kg. Good-quality lots made over €3.00/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “large” entry of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

All types of animals were reported to be in demand. However, Anne noted that forward cattle were becoming scarce. Despite this, buyers were anxious to purchase cattle because of increasing grass growth and better weather.

Top-class bulls weighing in excess of 600kg sold for €675-1,045 along with their weight, while beef bullocks traded at €600-635 over; store bullocks fetched a top call of €675 over.

Meanwhile, in the heifer ring, beef lots made €485-795 over and store heifers traded at €350-740 along with their weight. Furthermore, fat, well-fleshed cows sold at €770-1,520/head.