Cattle marts: Weather still impacting on the trade, as plain cattle struggle

A number of marts have reported a difficult trade for plain cattle over the weekend, as grass buyers have yet to make their full presence felt around the ring.

“The weather is having a big impact on the cattle trade and store cattle buyers have been slow to buy cattle,” according to Balla Mart’s Anthony Murphy.

Murphy said that in previous weeks store cattle would sell to €900, but recently it is only the exceptional animals that are breaking this price barrier with quality cattle improving in recent weeks.

However, he said that an improvement in the weather would lead to an increase in demand for the lighter lots in the coming weeks.

Quality cattle improved by €20-40/head on the week before, Murphy said.

Store steers sold from €600-780 over or €1.28-3.53/kg in the Mayo venue, while the forward steers traded from €1.60-2.93/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 290kg – €930 or €3.21/kg
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,170 or €3.00/kg
  • Limousin: 465kg – €1,325 or €2.85/kg
  • Limousin: 675kg – €1,675 or €2.48/kg

There were also 320 heifers on offer on Saturday, store heifers made €600-800 over or €1.83-3.34/kg. The best Limousin store heifer weighed 430kg and made €1,250.

Heavy heifers also met with good demand on Saturday, Murphy said, with these lots trading from €1.68-2.93/kg. Murphy said there were also 130 cows on offer and dry cows traded from €1.09-2.28/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 275kg – €885 or €3.22/kg
  • Charolais: 395kg – €1,140 or €2.89/kg
  • Limousin: 430kg – €1,250 or €2.91/kg
  • Limousin: 505kg – €1,390 or €2.75/kg
  • Limousin: 610kg – €1,515 or €2.48/kg

Tullow Mart

Tullow Mart had its third big sale in a row on Friday, according to the Mart Manager Eric Driver.

Driver said that lighter store cattle were a little easier on Friday, with prices back by €10-20 each due to a relaxing in the trade, as grass is tight.

The Mart Manager said that grass buyers were present around the ring, but they are unable to purchase large numbers of cattle as grass growth continues to remain slow.

However, despite the ease in the trade for stores, Driver said that the forward cattle sold have improved slightly since April 1.

The trade for forward cattle remained steady, with forward steers selling from €620-985 over, while similar type heifers traded from €550-925 over.

Cull cows sold from €140 over for the aged Friesian types suitable for further feed, while the heavier continental cows sold up to €710 over.

There was also a number of cows and calves on offer, cows with calves at foot sold from €1,300-1,950, while heifers with calves made €1,400-1,580.

Mountbellew Mart

Increased farmer activity resulted in a near full clearance of cattle in Mountbellew Mart on Friday, according to the Mart Manager Marianne Higgins.

There was a large number of stock on offer, she said, but due to an increase in farmer buyers the trade remained good with steers selling from €2.14-2.46/kg or €615-780 over.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 655kg – €1,400 or €2.14/kg
  • Limousin: 505kg – €1,240 or €2.46/kg
  • Limousin: 455kg – €1,070 or €2.40/kg
  • Limousin: 620kg – €1,400 or €2.26/kg

Looking at the heifers, the heavier lots traded from €2.22-2.36/kg, while the lighter store classes sold from €2.45-2.62/kg.

Higgins also said there was a firm trade for the weanlings on offer, as weanling bulls sold to a top price of €3.40/kg, while weanling heifers traded to a top price of €2.80/kg.