Cattle marts: Weekend rain brings more buyers to the ringside

After an extended period of drought, the rain that fell late last week and into the weekend has been welcomed by many farmers.

Although grass is scarce on many farms, fields are beginning to green up. Buyers, who stayed away from the ringside in recent weeks, are slowly starting to make their way back to the market place and are adding valuable competition.

Sales are also expected to step up in size over the coming weeks. Farmers who carried cattle during the drought are also likely to begin offloading them shortly, while weanling numbers are also set to rise.

What’s critical for the weanling market is the activity of exporters; buyers sourcing animals for the Italian and Turkish markets will have an important role to play this autumn.

Castlerea Mart

Some 400 cattle passed through the ring of Castlerea Mart on Thursday last (July 26) and prices remained especially strong for the better quality cattle on offer.

The mart’s Brendan Egan noted that both forward stores and heifers met strong demand, while the trade for breeding stock held firm.

Sample store prices:
  • Limousin bullock: 410kg – €1,100 or €2.68/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 430kg – €1,060 or €2.47/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 525kg – €1,470 or €2.80/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 525kg – €1,330 or €2.53/kg;
  • Belgian Blue heifer: 410kg – €1,065 or €2.60/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 410kg – €1,045 or €2.55/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 490kg – €1,250 or €2.55/kg;
  • Belgian Blue heifer: 440kg – €1,150 or €2.61/kg.

A good clearance was also reported for the cows on offer, with demand strongest for the forward lots; prices of €1.80-2.19/kg were achieved on the day. Meanwhile, cows with calves at foot sold at €1,000-1,740 and in-calf cows traded at €1,010-1,320.

Weanling numbers are also starting to rise in the Roscommon-based venue. Quality lots commanded the best prices on Thursday, while the plainer lots were harder sold.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Blonde d’Aquitaine heifer: 305kg – €915 or €3.00/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 340kg – €915 or €2.66/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 295kg – €745 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 315kg – €905 or €2.87/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 365kg – €940 or €2.58/kg;
  • Simmental bull: 375kg – €875 or €2.33/kg.

Ennis Mart

Ennis Mart held its weekly cattle sale on the same day. Although throughput was similar to last week, numbers are well back on this time last year. A firm overall trade was witnessed and a few more farmers were in attendance.

The trade for good-quality beef and store cows held on the day and prices of €1.80-2.80/kg were realised for these animals.

Quality store bullocks – weighing 400-500kg – met a good trade, while bullocks that will not finish under 30 months were under pressure.

Sample bullock and heifer prices:
  • Five Charolais bullocks: 472kg – €1,185 or €2.51/kg;
  • Two Angus bullocks: 650kg – €1,180 or €1.82/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 485kg – €1,175 or €2.42/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 580kg – €1,280 or €2.21/kg;
  • Two Limousin heifers: 392kg – €910 or €2.32/kg;
  • Two Hereford heifers: 462kg – €975 or €2.11/kg;
  • Two Charolais heifers: 490kg – €1,090 or €2.22/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 685kg – €1,600 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 475kg – €1,090 or €2.29/kg.

Carnew Mart

Some 560 cattle were offered for sale at Carnew Mart’s weekly cattle sale on Saturday last. Although prices were similar to last week, more farmer customers were present for store cattle after the rain.

On the day, beef and forward bullocks traded at €630-920 over, continental store bulls made €430-710 over and Friesian types sold for €120-560 over. Strong export demand was also evident for weanling bulls and these lots sold for €380-805 over.

Meanwhile, beef heifers sold for €550-870 over, store heifers made €260-780 over and beef heifers traded at €380-700 over.

Sample bullock and heifer prices:
  • Limousin bullock: 660kg – €1,360 or €2.06/kg;
  • Two Limousin bullocks: 514kg – €1,160 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 468kg: €1,170 or €2.50/kg;
  • Three Limousin bullocks: 442kg – €1,000 or €2.26/kg;
  • Belgian Blue heifer: 560kg – €1,350 or €2.41/kg;
  • Simmental heifer: 566kg – €1,190 or €2.10/kg;
  • Five Angus heifers: 559kg – €1,060 or €1.90/kg;
  • Three Limousin heifers: 660kg – €1,570 or €2.38/kg.

Roscommon Mart

A similar number of cattle passed through the ring of Roscommon Mart on Friday last and a steady trade was reported for all classes.

Bullocks averaged €2.22-2.50/kg and heifers made up to €2.11/kg on the day. A selection of dry cows was also on offer and these lots sold for €1.77-2.10/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,435 or €2.50/kg;
  • Limousin: 650kg – €1,300 or €2.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 415kg – €975 or €2.35/kg;
  • Limousin: 405kg – €930 or €2.30/kg;
  • Limousin: 365kg – €820 or €2.25/kg.