An improved trade for forward store cattle and factory-fit steers was reported in a number of marts across the country in recent days.

Cattle prices reflected the demand for quality at the ringside, whereas plainer-type animals proved harder to sell.

Larger numbers of autumn-born weanlings passed through the country’s marts in recent days and these animals met a strong trade – some lighter lots reached prices of €3.28/kg.

Factories have dropped steer quotes down to 380c/kg this week. In addition, heifer prices have also come under increased pressure and quotes have dropped below the 400c/kg mark.

Despite the factory cuts being imposed on prime cattle, prices have remained relatively firm in marts in recent weeks. However, on the back of this week’s factory cuts, it is questionable if confidence will remain at the ringside.

Carnew Mart

Some 725 cattle passed through the ring of Carnew Mart on Saturday. The sale featured a large entry of autumn-born weanlings – 200 bulls and 130 heifers.

These lots met a very strong trade, with some of the lighter bulls making a top price of €3.28/kg. Weanling bulls made €450-870 over in the Co. Wicklow venue.

The mart manager, David Quinn, reported a strong cattle trade that was similar to last week’s sale. But, there was an improved trade for forward store heifers and prices of up to €2.82/kg were achieved.

Farmers continued to drive the store trade in the Wicklow-based venue and the plainer Friesian steers sold for €175-630 over, while better-quality continental steers made €480-770 with the weight.

A number of cows with calves at foot were also on offer last Saturday and these lots traded for €850-1,820. Cull cows sold for €135-655 over.

Friesian bull calves traded at €80-192/head last Saturday in Carnew. Continental bulls made up to €465/head and continental heifers sold for €185-405/head.

Castlerea Mart

Some 680 cattle were on offer at last Thursday’s sale in Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon. Prices for quality lots remained unchanged, according to the mart’s Brendan Egan. However, plainer-type stock tended to be harder to sell.

The heifer and weanling rings saw a good trade for the quality lots on offer, he said, while breeding stock and dry cows reported good clearances.

Sample steer and heifer prices:
  • Charolais steer: 445kg – €1,310 or €2.94/kg;
  • Limousin steer: 545kg – €1,360 or €2.50/kg;
  • Charolais steer: 630kg – €1,455 or €2.31/kg;
  • Limousin steer: 780kg – €1,715 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 395kg – €1,065 or €2.70/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 420kg – €1,160 or €2.76/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 590kg – €1,400 or €2.37/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 605kg – €1,400 or €2.31/kg.

Dry cows traded at €1.77-1.96/kg at the Co. Roscommon venue. A 715kg Charolais cow sold for €1,400 on the day.

Thursday’s sale also featured a number of calves. Young calves made €200-345/head, while stronger types made up to €630/head.

Sample weanling bull and heifer prices:
  • Charolais bull: 270kg – €800 or €2.96/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 360kg – €1,150 or €3.19/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 425kg – €1,185 or €2.79/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 280kg – €765 or €2.73/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 290kg – €805 or €2.77/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 300kg – €850 or €2.83/kg.

Ennis Mart

There was a huge entry of cattle in Ennis Mart on Thursday last, according to the mart’s Danny Moran. Some 1,000 lots were on offer to the crowd of 120 at the ringside.

Buyers made their presence felt, with trade firm for all quality cattle. Forward and factory-fit steers were an improved trade on the previous week, Moran reported. And, the heifer trade was similar to the steers with forward and factory-fit heifers most in demand.

Sample steer and heifer prices:
  • Five Charolais steers: 355kg – €1,045 or €2.94/kg;
  • Five Limousin steers: 482kg – €1,270 or €2.63/kg;
  • Three Limousin steers: 538kg – €1,335 or €2.48/kg;
  • One Belgian Blue steer: 690kg – €1,540 or €2.23/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 395kg – €1,020 or €2.58/kg;
  • One Limousin heifer: 480kg – €1,270 or €2.65/kg;
  • Two Charolais heifers: 585kg – €1,410 or €2.41/kg;
  • One Charolais heifer: 715kg – €1,460 or €2.04/kg.

Of the 162 cull cows on offer in Ennis last week only four failed to sell. Forward cows were in the greatest demand, Moran said. Top-quality continental cows continued to achieve over €2/kg – a Limousin cow weighing 680kg sold for €1,530 or €2.25/kg on the day.