Heifers sell to a top price of €1,600/head at Ballinrobe Mart

Cattle numbers were reported to have increased at Ballinrobe Mart on Wednesday last, January 16. A good trade was reported – especially for the quality lots on offer.

Tom Maguire – the mart’s manager – said: “The trade has followed the pre-Christmas period, with the emphasis very much on quality.

“Anything ‘nice’ is making plenty and anything plain is a bad trade – the very same as before Christmas. We had 100 cattle here on Wednesday and that would be typical for this time of the year.

“There is a degree of uncertainty about the whole suckler and beef game. Having said that, quality cattle are still achieving high prices.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 635kg – €1,600 or €2.52/kg;
  • Charolais: 555kg – €1,505 or €2.71/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 385kg – €1,000 or €2.60/kg.

Following the trend that is evident across the country, plainer cattle were a more difficult trade. Moving to the bullock trade, again it was the quality lots that were most in demand.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 575kg – €1,365 or €2.37/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 447kg – €1,025 or €2.29/kg.

Tom highlighted that the dry cow trade is well back on last year’s prices – approximately €200/head.

“The best in the sale this week was a Charolais cross cow and she made €1.75/kg; this time last year they were making €2.00/kg freely,” Tom said.

A top price of €1,570 or €1.75/kg was paid for a Charolais cross cow weighing 895kg (pictured below).

In addition, sheep numbers were reported to have increased at the Mayo-based venue, while prices were said to have improved also.

“The sheep prices increased on Wednesday. There were a lot of customers around for lambs and – in some cases – the prices jumped by €10/head,” Tom explained.

More buyers were in the market for store lambs which sold for €82-121/head; ewe lambs sold for up to €188/head.

On the day, a number of fat ewes also went under the hammer and these lots made €76-112/head.