Over the past week, prices in the marts have steadied, and the renewed confidence that has appeared at the ringside across the country has continued, with more farmers operating.

Mart managers have noted the continued seasonal decline in numbers as we move into the final month of 2019.

While beef prices have not yet increased, the demand for under-30 month, in-spec animals – and now that factories are becoming easier to deal with on over 30-month cattle – has helped both ‘specs’ in the marts.

Also Read: Beef trade: Factories battle to keep a lid on prices

Bullock and heifer prices are said to be steady – and improved in some marts – while weanling numbers are also reported to be in decline; these animals are popular among farmer buyers.

Carnew Mart

Some 870 head of cattle went under the hammer, including 270 dry cows, on Saturday last, November 30. The trade was reported to be strong, with plenty of farmers present.

Beef and forward store bullocks made €560-880 along with their weight. Continental store bullocks made €450-720 over, while Friesian bullocks sold for €130-480 along with their weight; Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks were reported to sell for €280-550 over.

Looking at the heifer trade, beef lots made €480-780 over and store heifers fetched €270-660 over. Weanling bulls were reported to make €380-720 over.

In addition, beef cows fetched €250-610 over and dry store cows made €200 under the weight and €325 over.

A number of calves were also on offer, with Friesian bull calves making €40-170/head, while continental bulls sold for €180-410/head; continental heifers were bought for €110-360/head.

Kilkenny Mart

Numbers were reported to be lower at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, November 28. However, George Candler – the mart’s auctioneer – noted that this resulted in a sharper trade, with some bullock prices up by €20-40/head on the previous week’s sale.

He also highlighted that cull cows are attracting more interest.

On the day, the heavier heifer lots made €1.85-2.20/kg or €1,050-1,440/head; €1.65-2.20/kg or €800-1,020/head was paid for the forward store lots and the lighter store classes (<400kg) made €1.70-2.35/kg or €650-845/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 750kg – €1,440 or €1.92/kg;
  • Charolais: 575kg – €1,230 or €2.14/kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,000 or €2.13/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 460kg – €850 or €1.85/kg;
  • Hereford: 450kg – €830 or €1.84/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €825 or €2.17/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 370kg – €650 or €1.76/kg;
  • Charolais: 360kg – €845 or €2.35/kg.

In the steer ring, lots weighing 600kg or over sold at €1.80-2.05/kg or €1,080-1,340/head, while bullocks weighing 500-600kg made €1.65-2.44/kg or €850-1,390 head.

In the 400-500kg bracket, steers made €1.70-2.45/kg or €750-1,125/head and the lighter lots – weighing 400kg or less – sold at €1.60-2.65/kg or €640-965/head.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 660kg – €1,340 or €2.03/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 610kg – €1,100 or €1.80/kg;
  • Charolais: 570kg – €1,390 or €2.44/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 515kg – €1,000 or €1.94/kg;
  • Friesian: 455kg – €815 or €1.79/kg;
  • Limousin: 370kg – €965 or €2.61/kg;
  • Hereford: 315kg – €645 or €2.05/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.70-1.00/kg, while continental types sold for €1.15-1.80/kg.

Castlerea Mart

720 cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday last. According to the mart’s manager, Brendan Egan, heifer demand has increased – especially for the lighter store and breeding lots.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 420kg – €1,070 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,050 or €2.47/kg;
  • Simmental: 465kg – €1,240 or €2.66/kg;
  • Charolais: 450kg – €1,080 or €2.40/kg;
  • Limousin: 630kg – €1,430 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 530kg – €1,390 or €2.62/kg.

“The weanling rings reported good clearances as well, with increased numbers of runners on offer; the breeding stock numbers are increasing, and the dry cow trade showed an improvement in price – with good demand,” he said.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 295kg – €830 or €2.81/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus heifer: 285kg – €740 or €2.59/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 280kg – €770 or €2.75/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 260kg – €760 or €2.92/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €610-1,260/head, while cows with calves at foot made €940-1,540/unit.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 785kg – €1,450 or €1.84/kg;
  • Charolais: 775kg – €1,435 or €1.85/kg;
  • Friesian: 450kg – €490 or €1.08/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €785 or €1.63/kg.

240 bullocks also went under the hammer last Monday and, similar to other marts, prices improved.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,165 or €2.42/kg;
  • Charolais: 485kg – €1,215 or €2.50/kg;
  • Charolais: 775kg – €1,670 or €2.15/kg;
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,315 or €2.28/kg.