Cattle marts: Trade for dry cows eases, as customers become cautious

The reports from mart managers last week concluded that there was a slight ease back in the demand for dry cows, as prices of over €2.00/kg were harder come by.

The pulling of prices by factories in the past week has left customers somewhat cautious in marts. 

In the store trade, it was proving to be the more quality animals that were best sold, as plainer types took a hit. Good continental store bullocks and heifers were still averaging around the €2.30/kg mark.

Also Read: Pics and Prices: Dry cows topped at €1.93/kg in Blessington Mart

Looking at the forward cattle, some mart managers were continuing to highlight a scarcity of these animals. Heavy continental bullocks were reported selling from €2.20/kg back to €2.05/kg, while heifers were sold at €2.05-2.15/kg.

Forward-type Angus and Hereford cattle were still reporting some high prices over €2.15/kg; however, they generally were selling from €2.05/kg back to €1.95/kg.

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

Castlerea Mart

There was a rise in numbers passed through the mart gates of Castlerea last week as it held its weekly sale on Thursday (February 4).

Commenting on the sale, the mart’s manager Brendan Egan stated: “The trade and prices for the quality stores remained strong.

“The heifer ring had a good number of quality stores on offer and noticed prices peak at €2.94/kg, while the bullocks peaked at €2.59/kg – with both rings having good clearances.”

There was a lot of store cows on offer this week, as Brendan reported that the trade for these was more or less unchanged from the previous week in the Roscommon-based mart.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Limousin: 465kg – €1,090 or €2.34/kg;
  • Angus: 480kg – €1,100 or €2.29/kg;
  • Limousin: 495kg – €1,190 or €2.40/kg;
  • Charolais: 505kg – €1,250 or €2.47/kg;
  • Limousin: 505kg – €1,240 or €2.45/kg;
  • Charolais: 540kg – €1,400 or €2.59/kg;
  • Charolais: 570kg – €1,410 or €2.47/kg;
  • Charolais: 615kg – €1,440 or €2.34/kg;
  • Angus: 625kg – €1,380 or €2.20/kg;
  • Angus: 660kg – €1,410 or €2.13/kg.

Sample heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 425kg – €1,080 or €2.54/kg;
  • Angus: 425kg – €920 or €2.16/kg;
  • Limousin: 450kg – €1,300 or €2.88/kg;
  • Limousin: 465kg – €1,170 or €2.51/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,230 or €2.56/kg;
  • Charolais: 510kg – €1,500 or €2.94/kg;
  • Limousin: 525kg – €1,430 or €2.72/kg;
  • Limousin: 590kg – €1,430 or €2.42/kg;
  • Limousin: 690kg – €1,590 or €2.30/kg.

Sample dry cow prices:

  • Limousin: 755kg – €1,380 or €1.82/kg;
  • Friesian: 765kg – €1,240 or €1.62/kg;
  • Limousin: 775kg – €1,580 or €2.03/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 790kg – €1,500 or €1.89/kg;
  • Friesian: 820kg – €1,330 or €1.62/kg;
  • Shorthorn: 840kg – €1,590 or €1.89/kg.

The cows with calves at foot sold from €960/head up to €1,070/head. Meanwhile, springers were making from €900/head to €1,460/head.

When speaking about the sale of weanlings, Brendan said: “The trade was similar to last week.”

Sample weanling bull prices:

  • Charolais: 260kg – €740 or €2.84/kg;
  • Limousin: 270kg – €770 or €2.85/kg;
  • Charolais: 290kg – €830 or €2.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 340kg – €1,050 or €3.08/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 410kg – €1,100 or €2.68/kg;
  • Limousin: 415kg – €1,030 or €2.48/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 270kg – €800 or €2.96/kg;
  • Limousin: 280kg – €760 or €2.71/kg;
  • Limousin: 290kg – €950 or €3.27/kg;
  • Charolais: 295kg – €950 or €3.22/kg;
  • Limousin: 315kg – €1,000 or €3.17/kg;
  • Charolais: 320kg – €850 or €2.65/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 330kg – €1,240 or €3.75/kg.

Ennis Mart

The trade for cattle was not quite as sharp as last week, according to Ennis Mart manager, Martin McNamara. The Clare mart hosted its weekly sale of dry cows and heifers on Thursday (February 4).

Martin went onto claim: “While there was still a lot of Northern activity, they were not driving on as hard as previous weeks.

The €2.00/kg was achieved a number of times in the cull cow ring, although it was harder reached on Thursday.

“There was a greater mix of both continentals and dairy-type stock today with cows, but all the dairy culls had a share of feeding and were in good order. Again, some great continental cows throughout the sale.”

The store heifer trade also had a slight set back, however, the quality and well fleshed heifers were commanding good prices – as Martin explained:

“The good heifers held a great trade, especially if they had flesh, but stores a slight shade easier today. The quality in the heifer ring was more mixed.”

Sample heifer prices:

  • Angus: 395kg – €790 or €2.00/kg;
  • Angus: 450kg – €940 or €2.08/kg;
  • Limousin: 465kg – €1,260 or €2.71/kg;
  • Angus: 522kg – €1,150 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais: 525kg – €1,390 or €2.64/kg;
  • Hereford: 540kg – €1,020 or €1.89/kg;
  • Limousin: 573kg – €1,340 or €2.33/kg
  • Limousin: 595kg – €1,440 or €2.42/kg;
  • Limousin: 630kg – €1,600 or €2.54/kg;
  • Angus: 660kg – €1,480 or €2.24/kg;
  • Limousin: 695kg – €1,620 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin: 725kg – €1,600 or €2.20/kg.

Sample cull cow prices:

  • Shorthorn: 570kg – €1,000 or €1.75/kg;
  • Friesian: 440kg – €650 or €1.48/kg;
  • Friesian: 490kg – €890 – €1.81/kg;
  • Charolais: 645kg – €1,350 – €2.09/kg;
  • Friesian: 650kg – €900 – €1.38/kg;
  • Friesian: 675kg – €1,020 – €1.51/kg;
  • Limousin: 690kg – €1,550 – €2.24/kg;
  • Charolais: 720kg – €1,470 – €2.04/kg;
  • Friesian: 725kg – €1,210 – €1.67/kg;
  • Limousin: 750kg – €1,580 – €2.10/kg;
  • Limousin: 830kg – €1,690 or €2.03/kg;
  • Limousin: 965kg – €1,960 or €2.03/kg.