Last week was quiet on the mart trade front as most cattle sales around the country have not yet resumed for 2019; however, this week will see more sales commencing.

From those marts that had their opening sale of 2019, it was reported that there was an improvement in the trade for all types – mainly due to the smaller numbers presented for sale.

However, some mart managers noted that prices struggled compared to the pre-Christmas period.

Although it is still early for the majority of spring-calving dairy herds to commence calving, it won’t be long until calf sales are up and running.

Carnew Mart

It was reported that the opening sale of 2019 at Carnew Mart hosted some 300 lots on January 5.

It was noted that there was an improved trade for most classes of stock on the day, with dry cows and light store cattle witnessing the largest increase in price.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 514kg – €1,170 or €2.27/kg;
  • Limousin: 460kg – €1,010 or €2.19/kg;
  • Limousin: 609kg – €1,230 or €2.02/kg;
  • Charolais: 570kg – €1,110 or €1.94/kg.

Beef and forward-type bullocks made €550-850 over their weight, while continental store bullocks fetched €420-780 over.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 344kg – €770 or €2.24/kg;
  • Limousin: 498kg – €1,020 or €2.05/kg;
  • Charolais: 584kg – €1,350 or €2.31/kg;
  • Charolais: 566kg – €1,135 or €2.00/kg.

Store and beef heifers commanded a price €260-710 and €530-820 along with their weight respectively. In addition, cows sold for €60 under their weight and €600 over their weight.

Maam Cross Mart

The first cattle sale of 2019 at Maam Cross Mart saw some 100 cattle presented for sale on January 5.

It was reported that there was a good trade for store-type heifers. These lots averaged €2.14-2.84/kg. Also on the day, a top price of €1,020 was paid for an April 2017-born, Hereford heifer; she weighed 514kg.

Furthermore, bullocks averaged €2.70-2.76/kg. A top call of €1,000 was paid for an October 2017-born, Limousin bullock and he weighed 362kg. At the sale, weanling bulls – on average – achieved €2.52-3.17/kg.

An in-calf Limousin cow fetched €1,050, while other in-calf lots averaged €1.28-1.65/kg.

A number of cows with calves at foot were also presented for sale. An Aberdeen Angus cow with a Charolais calf at foot made the top price in this category; this cow and calf unit made €1,270.

Tullow Mart

Tullow Mart hosted its first cattle sale of 2019 on January 4. It was reported that there was uncertainty among buyers at ringside when making purchases.

This uncertainty was reflected in the prices as they struggled to achieve the prices from the pre-Christmas period.

Cull cows sold at €120 under their weight and for €350 over. It was noted that good-quality, well-fleshed continental cows were the best trade in the cow category. The top price of €1,640 was achieved by a 965kg cow.

In the bullock and heifer ring, a forward-type store weighing 525kg sold at €1,090, while lighter-type bullocks weighing 350-430kg sold at €1.85-2.15/kg.

Ballybay Mart

Again, similar to the other marts mentioned above, Ballybay Mart’s first sale of the year took place on Saturday last, January 5.

A smaller number of cattle were entered and the mart manager noted that numbers are expected to increase week-on-week as we progress through January.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 500kg – €1,000 or €2.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 275kg – €700 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin: 305kg – €750 or €2.46/kg;
  • Limousin: 405kg – €900 or €2.22/kg.

It was noted that continental bullocks sold at €590-750 over their weight.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 390kg – €990 or €2.53/kg;
  • Simmental: 600kg – €1,190 or €1.98/kg;
  • Limousin: 635kg – €1,385 or €2.18/kg;
  • Charolais: 690kg – €1,450 or €2.10/kg.

In addition, continental heifers sold at €425-500 along with their weight, while cull cows went under the hammer for €535-650 with their weight.

Sample cull cow prices:
  • Limousin: 655kg – €1,190 or €1.81/kg;
  • Simmental: 765kg –€1,340 or €1.75/kg;
  • Limousin: 625kg – €1,275 or €2.04/kg.

There were also a number of dairy-origin calves presented for sale; these lots were reported to have achieved €150-320/head.