Cattle marts: Numbers on the increase as grass growth slows

Falling grass growth rates have resulted in more cattle being offered for sale in recent days; leading to unseasonable increases in stock numbers in some marts across the country.

Despite the higher level of throughput, exporters continue to make their presence felt at the ringside. These buyers have been particularly focused on buying heifers to fill a shipment to Turkey.

Castlerea mart

Some 450 cattle were on offer at last Thursday’s sale in Castlerea Mart, according to the mart manager, Brendan Egan.

Egan said that the quality of cattle present at last Thursday’s sale had improved on the previous week and every class of animal traded strongly. Store steers and heifers met with a particularly strong trade, he said.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 485kg – €1,300 or €2.68/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 510kg – €1,205 or €2.36/kg;
  • Charolais: 580kg – €1,530 or €2.64/kg;
  • Limousin: 555kg – €1,300 or €2.34/kg;
  • Charolais: 675kg – €1,610 or €2.39/kg.

Exporters also continued to make their presence felt around the ringside and were keen to purchase weanlings on the day.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 285kg – €925 or €3.24/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 280kg – €815 or €2.91/kg;
  • Limousin: 240kg – €770 or €3.21/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 360kg – €1,160 or €3.22/kg;
  • Limousin: 360kg – €1,100 or €3.06/kg;
  • Limousin: 340kg – €1,005 or €2.96/kg.

A number of cows also passed through the ring on Thursday; in-calf cows made up to €1,270/head, while cows with calves at foot sold for €1,010-1,850.

Ennis mart

There was a strong trade for all types of cattle at last Thursday’s sale in Ennis Mart, according to the mart’s Danny Moran.

The sale consisted of a large entry of steers in the 30-month bracket, he said. Store steers weighing up to 500kg sold for €2.37-3.13/kg, while the forward lots made €2.12-2.55/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Five Limousin steers: 365kg – €1,095 or €3.00/kg;
  • Five Limousin steers: 433kg – €1,150 or €2.66/kg;
  • Five Charolais steers: 571kg – €1,400 or €2.45/kg;
  • Two Charolais steers: 660kg – €1,550 or €2.35/kg.
cattle marts
Five Charolais bullocks: 571kg – €1,400 or €2.45/kg

Fat heifers also remained in demand on the day. Lots weighing over 550kg made €2.59/kg. The lighter classes traded at €2.07-2.59/kg.

A number of store cows were also on offer and these lots sold for €1.22-2.18/kg.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 595kg – €1,250 or €2.10/kg;
  • Limousin: 670kg – €1,380 or €2.06/kg;
  • Charolais: 570kg – €1,240 or €2.18/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 680kg – €1,270 or €1.87/kg;
  • Simmental: 670kg – €1,260 or €1.88/kg.

Balla mart

Light heifers (200-400kg), under 13-months-old, traded well at last Saturday’s sale in Balla Mart, according to the mart’s Anthony Murphy.

Trade is still being driven by Turkish export buyers trying to fill the boat for next week. Black and red Limousins, along with Belgian Blue heifers, are desired by these export buyers.

In total, 200 lots of heifers passed through the ring last Saturday. Heifers weighing 400-500kg averaged €2.35/kg. Those in the 500kg+ category sold for €2.34/kg and heifers weighing 200-400kg sold for an average price of €2.83/kg.

Some 108 cows were also entered on the day. The best of these was a Limousin cow with a Limousin heifer calf at foot. This pair sold for €2,050.