Cattle marts: Rise in prices for cows, while forward cattle are in demand

Last week, cull cows received a further rise in price according to mart managers, as buyers’ appetites grow. Highs of up to €2.24/kg were recorded for forward-type beef cows at Ennis Mart.

Other marts were reporting similar rises in young dry cow demands, as general prices for more forward-type continental cows ranged from €1.75/kg up to €2.08/kg. Rising quotes for quality cows in factories supported the demand last week.

Farmers are starting to second guess their decisions of bringing finished cows to the processors by sending them straight to the mart instead – as factory agents are willing to give above the quoted prices.

In the store trade, it was business as usual last week. Some prices reported for continental store heifers weighing 400-500kg stated they were secured at €2.16-2.33/kg. Forward beef heifers were generally trading at €2.05/kg up to €2.15/kg.

In bullock trade, continental stores (over 500kg) were selling generally at €2.10/kg up to highs of €2.31/kg. More Angus and Hereford type store bullocks were selling at €1.85 up to €2.05/kg.

Also Read: Pics and prices: Lighter stores top the trade at Delvin Mart

This week AgriLand takes a look at the recent sales of cattle in Balla and Castlerea Marts.

Balla Mart

Balla Mart re-opened its gates for the new year last Saturday (January 16) with 275 cattle being brought forward for sale.

Stephen Hannon, the mart’s manager, stated he was more than positive about the mart trade last Saturday. He said:

“If the trade continues what it was like on Saturday, it is going to be a good year for farmers. The demand outweighed the supply; we could have sold a lot more cattle that what we had.

“Forward beef cattle were the ones that shined at Saturday’s sale.

All the forward and fleshy beef cows, particularly the younger Limousin and Charolais cows, were selling up to and over €2.00/kg.

“If I take our bullock prices from the weekend and compare them to our last sale in 2020, the bullocks were up €180/head. If I look at the cows sold at Saturday’s sale, compared to cows with similar weights sold at our last sale in 2020, they were up €119/head on average,” Stephen added.

Bullocks weighing from 300 to 400kg were reported to average €2.17/kg. Meanwhile, slightly heavier stores (up to 500kg) sold at an average of €2.29/kg.

More forward-type store bullocks, over 500kg, were stated to average €2.17/kg.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Charolais: 805kg – €1,720 or €2.13/kg;
  • Limousin: 810kg – €1,860 or €2.29/kg;
  • Limousin: 720kg – €1,590 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais: 725kg – €1,840 or €2.53/kg;
  • Angus: 645kg – €1,430 or €2.21/kg;
  • Charolais: 535kg – €1,300 or €2.42/kg;
  • Charolais: 525kg – €1,270 or €2.41/kg;
  • Limousin: 325kg – €700 or €2.15/kg;
  • Limousin: 340kg – €740 or €2.17/kg;
  • Charolais: 315kg – €680 or €2.15/kg.

In the heifer ring, there were over 70 lots on offer. Heifers weighing from 400 to 500kg were averaging €2.33/kg. Meanwhile, heavier females traded at an average of €2.28/kg.

Sample heifer prices:

  • Angus: 625kg – €1,380 or €2.20/kg;
  • Angus: 615kg – €1,380 or €2.24/kg;
  • Limousin: 680kg – €1,690 or €2.48/kg;
  • Charolais: 470kg – €1,130 or €2.40/kg;
  • Charolais: 455kg – €1,030 or €2.26/kg;
  • Charolais: 455kg – €1,090 or €2.39/kg;
  • Charolais: 435kg – €1,080 or €2.48/kg;
  • Charolais: 435kg – €1,040 or €2.39/kg;
  • Limousin: 415kg – €1,000 or €2.40/kg;
  • Limousin: 405kg – €950 or €2.34/kg.

Sample cull cow prices:

  • Belgian Blue: 915kg – €1,760 or €1.92/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 860kg – €1,800 or €2.09/kg;
  • Charolais: 830kg – €1,710 or €2.06/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 800kg – €1,590 or €1.98/kg;
  • Montbeliarde: 650kg – €970 or €1.49/kg;
  • Montbeliarde: 635kg – €845 or €1.33/kg;
  • Friesian: 550kg – €630 or €1.14/kg.

Castlerea Mart

There were over 250 head of cattle on offer at Castlerea Mart last Thursday (January 14). The mart’s manager, Brendan Egan, stated:

“The trade started off very brightly, with all categories of stock in demand. Forward stock in particular has noticed price improvement since before Christmas.

“Forward bullocks made as high as €905 over their weight, while heifers made €890 over their weight.

“Breeding stock met with good demand, with increased numbers of stock on offer, resulting in a good clearance. Meanwhile, the dry cows also remained a firm trade.”

Speaking about calf prices on the day, Brendan added:

“Lots made from €190/head up to €240/head in the calf section – with runners making from €410/head up to €830/head for continental-type lots.”

The mart also recorded sales for cows with calves at foot ranging from €1,125 up to €1,200/head. Springers sold from €1,090 up to highs of €2,090/head.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Charolais: 785kg – €1,690 or €2.15/kg;
  • Angus: 680kg – €1,560 or €2.29/kg.
  • Charolais: 610kg – €1,410 or €2.31/kg;
  • Charolais: 585kg – €1,370 or €2.34/kg;
  • Limousin: 565kg – €1,340 or €2.37/kg;
  • Limousin: 545kg -€1,190 or €2.18/kg;
  • Angus: 485kg – €1,080 or €2.22/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €980 or €2.57/kg;
  • Limousin: 340kg – €940 or €2.76/kg;

Sample heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 650kg – €1,540 or €2.36/kg;
  • Angus: 630kg – €1,390 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais: 630kg – €1,450 or €2.30/kg;
  • Charolais: 580kg – €1,340 or €2.31/kg;
  • Charolais: 545kg – €1,110 or €2.03/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,160 or €2.41/kg;
  • Saler: 475kg – €1,180 or €2.48/kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,080 or €2.29/kg.

Sample dry cow prices:

  • Simmental: 815kg – €1,520 or €1.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 775kg – €1,360 or €1.75/kg;
  • Angus: 760kg – €1,390 or €1.82/kg;
  • Limousin: 705kg – €1,320 or €1.87/kg;
  • Charolais: 700kg – €1,350 or €1.92/kg;
  • Shorthorn: 540kg – €770 or €1.42/kg;
  • Charolais: 470kg – €830 or €1.76/kg.

Brendan stated: “In the weanling rings the bulls peaked at €3.30/kg, while a top price of €980 or €3.76/kg was achieved for a Simmental heifer weighing 260kg.”

Sample weanling bull prices:

  • Charolais: 430kg – €930 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 370kg – €990 or €2.67/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €930 or €2.69/kg;
  • Angus: 295kg – €700 or €2.37/kg;
  • Charolais: 285kg – €770 or €2.70/kg;
  • Limousin: 285kg – €760 or €2.66/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:

  • Limousin: 350kg – €830 or €2.37/kg;
  • Charolais: 325kg – €820 or €2.52/kg;
  • Charolais: 320kg – €950 or €2.96/kg;
  • Angus: 280kg – €660 or €2.35/kg;
  • Angus: 280kg – €660 or €2.35/kg;
  • Limousin: 275kg – €790 or €2.87/kg;
  • Simmental: 260kg – €980 or €3.76/kg.