Dairy origin cull cows dominate cattle marts across the country

In recent days, mart managers have reported an increase in the number of cull cows passing through the sales rings in marts across the country. These cows are mainly of a dairy origin.

As has been the case over the last number of weeks, good quality continental cattle prices have remained steady. Factory-fit heifers and steers have proved popular, as procurement managers make their presence felt ringside.

This week, factories are offering 385-390c/kg for steers; heifer quotes are sitting at a base of 395-400c/kg.

However, similar to previous weeks, some farmers with large numbers of in-spec stock to market have received prices of 5c/kg above base quotes. At the upper end of the scale, this brings some heifers to 405c/kg.

Also Read: Beef Price: ‘There are opportunities for Irish prices to rise further’

These higher prices have filtered down to mart level as factories are desperately trying to secure supplies for the busy Christmas period.

Carnew mart

Some 815 cattle went under the hammer in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Saturday last – an increase of 57 on the previous week.

David Quinn, the mart manager, said that all cattle met a strong trade and prices were similar to previous weeks.

He said: “160 dry cows were on offer and they saw a brisk demand with a full clearance achieved.”

On the day, 85 suckler cows met an excellent trade; older, plainer types proved difficult to sell. Store bullocks made €600-1,040 over, while Friesian steers sold for €160-570 along with their weight. Heifers were reported to trade well; stores made €310-760 over.

Beef cows fetched €430-870 over, while store cows made €60-380 over. Quinn said: “60 calves were also on offer and these lots traded between €60 and €460/head.”

In addition, cows with calves at foot traded for €900-1,580/head, while in-calf suckler cows made €900-1,510/head.

Sample calf prices:
  • Continental bulls: €225-460/head;
  • Continental heifers: €180-440/head;
  • Friesian bulls: €60-190/head.

Ennis mart

A small sale took place at Ennis Mart on Thursday last, with just over 800 animals going under the hammer. Numbers were similar to last week in the bullock and heifer rings. However, 350 cull cows were offered for sale on the day.

Danny Moran said: “Cull cows were made up of 60% dairy stock. There was not that many forward or beef type cull cows in it.”

There was great demand for all types of forward stock in all rings and quality stores were much sought after in the bullock and heifer rings, he said.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 455kg – €1,225 or €2.69/kg;
  • Limousin: 730kg – €1,790 or €2.44/kg;
  • Blonde D’Aquitaine: 495kg – €1,240 or €2.51/kg;
  • Hereford: 537kg – €1,045 or €1.94/kg.

A number of aged bulls passed through the ring on Thursday. The best of these made €1,830. In general, they made €1.50-2.11/kg on the day.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 477kg – €1,160 or €2.43/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 605kg – €1,240 or €2.05/kg;
  • Charolais: 475kg – €1,160 or €2.44/kg;
  • Hereford: 547kg – €1,110 or €2.03/kg.

He added: “Beef-type cows were in demand. There was a great trade again for the quality lots. On the day, a 97% clearance rate was achieved.”

Sample cull cow prices:
  • Limousin: 810kg – €1,620 or €2.44/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 690kg – €1,295 or €1.88/kg;
  • Charolais: 940kg – €1,730 or €1.84/kg;
  • Friesian: 595kg – €930 or €1.56/kg

Raphoe mart

Last Thursday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “good” entry of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

There was a brisk demand for all types of stock with good-quality stores proving popular.

Top-class bulls (weighing over 600kg) sold at €600-725 over, the mart manager stated. Beef bullocks made €645-715 over and lighter store steers sold for €2.20-2.70/kg.

Beef heifers made €515-765 over and store heifers traded at €350-665 over or €2.20-2.70/kg. Fat, well-fleshed cows sold at €600-1,530/head.

Kilrush mart

There was a large turnout at the Kilrush Mart, on Wednesday, November 29. Continental heifers sold at €2.45-2.60/kg, while Hereford and Angus heifers traded at €1.99-2.24/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Hereford: 315kg – €790 or €2.51/kg;
  • Charolais: 445kg – €1,090 or €2.45/kg;
  • Limousin: 476kg – €1,140 or €2.39/kg.
  • Aberdeen Angus: 484kg – €950 or €1.96/kg.

Martin McNamara, the mart’s manager, noted that a 98% clearance rate was achieved on the day.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 275kg – €715 or €2.60/kg;
  • Hereford: 335kg – €725 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 395kg – €965 or €2.44/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 645kg – €1,285 or €1.99/kg.