Cattle marts: Wet weather and export demand are the big talking points

Starting with the weanling trade, exporters have continued to drive the demand for good-quality bulls at sales over the past week.

At Gort Mart’s spring-born weanling show and sale on Thursday last, September 26, the weanling bull trade was brisk, with a number of exporters purchasing 30% of the bulls on offer.

Also Read: Pics and prices: Exporters drive the trade for weanling bulls at Gort Mart

Again this week, exporters are actively sourcing stock from all parts of the country. This is having a positive effect on the weanling bull trade.

However, plainer-quality weanlings are a poorer-trade, with weanling heifers easier than their male counterparts

The forward and store cattle trade still remains difficult. The backlog of cattle still to be slaughtered has since been added to by farmers with deteriorating ground conditions, with farmers slow to return to the marketplace.

The fine weather which braced the country two weeks ago seems like a distance memory, with some farmers having no other option but to house or market some of their stock.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (September 26) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a better entry of cattle than the previous week’s sale, according to the mart manager Anne Harkin, with plainer Hereford and Angus cattle increasing in price – selling up to €2.00/kg in some cases.

Anne noted that buyers were in the market for “in-spec” cattle which lead to a good trade for these lots.

Bulls weighing in excess of 600kg sold for €500-760 over, while beef bullocks made €500-740 along with the weight; store bullocks were reported to sell for €350-785 over the weight.

Moving to heifers, beef lots made €450-705 over, while lots which require further feeding sold for €350-655 along with the weight.

Prices on a €/kg basis were €1.70-2.20/kg for bulls, €1.90-2.40/kg for bullocks and €1.90-2.50/kg for heifers.

In addition, dry cows sold for €685-1,660/head.

Dowra Mart

A large sale of cattle took place at Dowra Mart, on Saturday, September 28, according to the mart’s manager Patsy Smith, with both bullock and weanling bull prices improving.

Almost 120 dry cows went under the hammer and the trade for these – especially the heavier lots – was easier, Patsy said.

Weanling heifers weighing under 300kg sold to a top price of €720 or €3.00/kg. This was achieved by a Charolais heifer weighing 240kg.

Other prices in this section included €710 for a 285kg Charolais heifer and €710 for a Limousin heifer weighing 280kg.

The top-priced weanling heifer in the 300-400kg category went to a 385kg Charolais heifer; she sold for €900 or €2.33/kg.

Heifers weighing 400-500kg sold well. The best price on the day for these heifers was €1,190 or €2.40/kg. Again, this was a Charolais heifer weighing 495kg.

In addition, heifers weighing over 500kg sold to a top price of €1,500 or €2.47/kg; this Belgian Blue heifer weighed 605kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 250kg – €672 or €2.68/kg;
  • Limousin: 485kg – €1,170 or €2.41/kg;
  • Charolais: 440kg – €1,030 or €2.34/kg;
  • Limousin: 450kg – €1,160 or €2.57/kg.

Moving to weanling bulls, looking at bulls weighing under 300kg, the top price went to a Charolais bull weighing 295kg; he sold for €785 or €2.66/kg.

Bull weanlings in the 300-400kg category, the best price went to a 380kg Limousin bull; he went under the hammer for €930 or €2.44/kg.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 225kg – €735 or €3.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 280kg – €785 or €2.80/kg;
  • Charolais: 365kg – €900 or €2.46/kg;
  • Charolais: 310kg – €885 or €2.85/kg.

A number of dry cows also went under the hammer on the day; some sample prices are listed below.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 680kg – €1,220 or €1.79/kg;
  • Limousin: 595kg – €990 or €1.66/kg;
  • Charolais: 775kg – €1,480 or €1.90/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 850kg – €1,520 or €1.78/kg;
  • Limousin: 720kg – €1,375 or €1.90/kg.

Headford Mart

Headford Mart held its weekly cattle sale on Saturday last, September 28. On the day, bullock prices ranged from €130 to €770 over or from €1.38/kg to €2.43/kg, according to the mart’s manager Joe Wynne.

A Limousin bullock weighing 730kg achieved the top price of €1,500 or €2.05/kg. Looking at the top price on a €/kg basis, this went to a Charolais bullock weighing 440kg; he sold for €1,070 or €2.43/kg.

In the heifer ring, these lots made €180-645 along with the weight or €1.33-2.48/kg. A Limousin heifer achieved a top price of €1,200 (€216/kg); she weighed 555kg. Furthermore, €2.48/kg (€990) was paid for a Limousin heifer weighing 555kg.

Looking to weanling heifers, these animals sold for €155-710 over or €1.63-3.54/kg. A Charolais weanling heifer weighing 280kg sold for €990 or €3.54/kg.

Moving to weanling bulls, prices ranged from €145-655 along with the weight, or €1.39-3.32/kg, according to the mart manager.

Cull cows were reported to sell for €530-1,380/head, while cows with calves at foot made up to €1,300/unit.

Carnew Mart

Some 800 weanlings went under the hammer at Carnew Mart on Wednesday last, September 25. The trade was reported to be strong for quality lots suitable for export, with a top price of €1,820 paid for a Belgian Blue bull weighing 532kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 250kg – €660 or €2.64/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,400 or €2.69/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 394kg – €1,100 or €2.79/kg;
  • Limousin: 300kg – €600 or €2.00/kg.

The mart manager David Quinn noted that plain stock continue to be a difficult sell.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 254kg – €685 or €2.69/kg;
  • Limousin: 348kg – €750 or €2.15/kg;
  • Charolais: 429kg – €1,060 or €2.47/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 414kg – €1,140 or €2.75/kg.

Additionally, a full clearance was achieved at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Saturday last, July 20.

Beef and forward store bullocks made €480-870 along with their weight. Continental store bullocks made €410-730 over, while Friesian bullocks sold for €80-370 along with their weight; Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks were reported to sell for €280-590 over.

Looking at the heifer trade, beef lots made €530-810 over and continental store heifers fetched €380-720 over. Early-maturing Hereford and Angus heifers made €250-460 along with the weight.

In addition, beef cows fetched €320-810 over and store cows made €80 under the weight and €30 over.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 800 cattle went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, September 26. A good yard of quality continental cattle was reported by the mart auctioneer George Candler, with more farmers gathered around the ring.

He noted that heifers were in short supply, but quality lots sold up to €2.50/kg. However, cull cows were a more difficult sell.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 725kg – €1,450 or €2.00/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 650kg – €1,200 or €1.85/kg;
  • Limousin: 545kg – €1,310 or €2.40/kg;
  • Charolais: 585kg – €1,450 or €2.48/kg;
  • Saler: 480kg – €1,070 or €2.23/kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,130 or €2.40/kg;
  • Friesian: 395kg – €640 or €1.62/kg;
  • Hereford: 340kg – €650 or €1.91/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.80-1.56/kg, while continental types sold for €1.10-1.85/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 645kg – €1,380 or €2.14/kg;
  • Hereford: 570kg – €1,070 or €1.88/kg;
  • Limousin: 590kg – €1,360 or €2.31/kg;
  • Charolais: 500kg – €1,100 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais: 470kg – €1,060 or €2.26/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 330kg – €570 or €1.73/kg;
  • Hereford: 320kg – €580 or €1.81/kg.

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