Demand for store cattle, especially plainer lots, has dipped over the past couple of days with prices back by €20/head.

The fall in prices follows some uncertainty in the market, as both buyers and sellers are cautious of what the market holds following the UK’s decision to exit the European Union.

A number of mart managers have reported some ease in demand for store cattle, while beef cattle have met with a similar trade to last week in the mart ring.

However, already this week, factories have moved to lower beef prices, with quotes for steers and heifers back by 5-10c/kg.

Tullow Mart

Despite the good summer sun on Friday, Tullow Mart’s Eric Driver said  prices for plainer cattle were back by €20/head compared to the week before.

The Mart Manager also said that beef cattle continued to remain in demand, as prices battled to hold with levels seen in previous weeks.

Friesian type stores sold to a top price of €1.80/kg and the better quality in-spec continental steers sold up €2.35/kg or €930 over.

There was a noticeable fall in the number of farmers present around the ring for the plainer store steers and as a result prices were €20/head easier than the week before, he said.

Prices for these lots ranged from €1.90-2.85/kg, while there was little change in the demand for good R and U grade steers, which continue to set the trade.

Driver said beef heifers sold briskly, with the Hereford and Angus lots trading from €2.00/kg, while the better quality well-finished continental lots sold to a top price of €2.70/kg.

However, despite the fall in steer prices store heifers met a similar trade to last week, with prices ranging from €2.00-2.80/kg, while the majority on offer sold from €2.25-2.45/kg.

Farmers continue to drive the weanling trade, he said, with demand best for the lighter bulls on offer. These lots made €2.40-2.75/kg.

The trade for cull cows was a little sluggish on Friday, but there was not a great change in prices from the week before, with feeding cows selling from €100-760 over.

Raphoe Mart

Prices for plain cattle eased slightly in Raphoe Mart on Thursday, according to the Mart Manager Anne Harkin.

Harkin said there was a large entry of stock on offer and the demand remained best for quality in-spec cattle. Steers on offer in Raphoe Mart sold from €2.20-2.80/kg, while heifers made €2.30-2.70/kg.

Fat cows continued to meet a good trade and Friesian cows sold from €600/head, while the top quality continentals on offer sold up to a top price of €1,670.

Sample prices:
  • Bulls over 600 kg – €600-1020 over
  • Beef steers – €600-950 over
  • Store steers – €495-870 over
  • Beef heifers – €550-735 over
  • Store heifers – €400-660 over
  • Dry cows – €600-1,670 each

Kilkenny Mart

Both buyers and sellers were cautious in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Thursday, according to the Mart’s Auctioneer George Candler.

Candler said there were less steers on offer, but the trade remained similar to last week for the quality lots, but the plainer lots were more difficult to sell.

Steers weighing over 600kg sold from €1.70-2.25/kg, lots weighing 400-600kg made €1.60-2.75/kg, while the light store lots (<400kg) made €1.50-3.04/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 750kg – €1,510 or €2.01/kg
  • Angus: 640kg – €1,260 or €1.97/kg
  • Hereford: 580kg – €1,180 or €2.03/kg
  • Friesian: 560kg – €1,030 or €1.84/kg
  • Angus: 490kg – €960 or €1.96/kg
  • Charolais: 480kg – €1,250 or €2.60/kg
  • Friesian: 300kg – €600 or €2.00/kg
  • Limousin: 250kg – €760 or €3.04/kg

However, despite the ease in the steer market, beef heifers met a similar trade to last week selling from €1.80-2.35/kg, while the forward store lots made €1.80-2.40/kg

Candler also said that cow prices stabilised after last week’s fall and these lots sold from €0.85-1.70/kg for the dairy types, while the continental lots made €1.40-1.90/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 655kg – €1,550 or €2.33/kg
  • Continental: 640kg – €1,430 or €2.23/kg
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,120 or €2.33/kg
  • Saler: 470kg – €1,040 or €2.21/kg
  • Angus: 440kg – €985 or €2.24/kg
  • Angus: 380kg – €950 or €2.50/kg
  • Charolais: 365kg – €905 or €2.48/kg