Supplies of heavy cattle are to become “very scarce” as large volumes of these have already passed through the system.

That’s according to Carnew Mart’s yard manager Eugene Clune, who said: “I think there’s going to be very few heavy cattle to come out for sale over the next while.”

Speaking to Agriland, Clune explained: “I think the supply of cattle over 550kg is going to be very tight.” He believes that a lot of these heavier cattle “are gone out of the system” for this year already.

Furthermore, Clune added: “Cow sales are going to continue very big from what I can see, but this isn’t majorly affecting the trade as buyers remain anxious for all types of cows.”

Numbers were back slightly at Carnew Mart’s weekly cattle sale on Saturday (June 18) with a total of 960 head of cattle and 130 calves on offer.

Despite the beef trade having eased slightly, the mart witnessed virtually a full clearance on Saturday.

Commenting on the trade, Clune noted that heavier cattle were back slightly while heavy cows were not back as much.

“There’s still lots of cows making from €2,500 upwards but the store Friesian cow that was coming in close to the €2/kg is back a touch,” he said.

Sample cow prices:

  • 1,000kg Charolais cow: €2,800 or €2.80/kg;
  • 750kg Parthenaise cow: €2,300 or €3.06/kg;
  • 772kg Limousin cow: €2,160 or €2.80/kg;
  • 668kg Charolas cow: €1,960 or €2.93/kg;
  • 712kg Aberdeen Angus cow: €1,900 or €2.66/kg;
  • 826kg Friesian cow: €1,680 or €2.03/kg;
  • 704kg Friesian cow: €1,540 or €2.18/kg;
  • 492kg Parthenaise cow: €1,140 or €2.32/kg.

“Let it be store cows or fat cows, between feeders, wholesalers, factory agents and northern customers, there’s buyers mad for cows,” Clune added.

“Angus cattle are firing ahead with the likes of a 650kg bullock still making over €1,900 and heading for €2,000.”

Sample bullock prices:

  • 660kg Angus bullock: €1,910 or €2.89/kg;
  • 600kg Angus bullock: €1,830 or €3.05/kg;
  • 602kg Simmental bullock: €1,690 or €2.81/kg;
  • 416kg Limousin bullock: €1,280 or €3.08/kg.

Export-type bulls and feeding bulls were described as “a very good trade” with up to €4.30/kg paid for bulls at Carnew Mart on Saturday.

One of the highlights was a bunch of Belgian Blue bulls all passing the €4/kg mark.

Clune noted: “Farmers with those cattle last year were aiming for €3.00/kg and this year they are averaging €3.70-3.80/kg for the same types of bulls.”

Sample heifer prices:

  • 646kg Limousin heifer: €1,860 or €2.88/kg;
  • 550kg Charolais heifer: €1,580 or €2.87/kg;
  • 577Kg Hereford heifer: €1,440 or €2.50/kg;
  • 500kg Belgian Blue heifer: €1,470 or €2.94/kg.

He added that more farmers are moving to finishing bulls this year: “There’s a cohort of buyers that come in at the end of the bullock sale, wait until the bulls start and they have great power in buying bulls.”

Sample bull prices:

  • 414kg Belgian Blue bull €1,710 or €4.13/kg;
  • 416kg Belgian Blue bull €1,670 or €4.01/kg;
  • 474kg Limousin bull €1,470 or €3.10/kg;
  • 644kg Limousin bull €1,900 or €2.95/kg.

“Finishers that are buying bulls have become more selective but are willing to pay more for the good, well-bred continental bull that will push forward; the off-bull is probably worth more as a bullock,” he added.

Lighter store heifers and bullocks are still an easy sell, despite easing slightly in price, Clune added.

Cows with calves at-foot sold for between €1,860 and €2,960, with most selling between €2,200 and €2,500.

Calf sale

Calf numbers are well down from the peak weeks of over 800 with 130 calves on offer at the most recent sale in Carnew.

Calves are “still meeting a lively trade” with a lot of buyers for calves and particular interest in the reared calves, with top prices ranging from €450-600 for these continental types. Clune added that exporters are still anxious for all export-type calves also.


Concluding, Clune expressed optimism that “if rain comes in the next few days in this part of the country, it will greatly help to steady the store cattle trade”.

He also noted that northern interest is beginning to pick up and expects northern activity for forward and finished cattle to increase in the third quarter of the year.