Mart report: Forward-cattle still in demand in the lead up to Christmas

This week will see a slight bit of normality return to marts, as farmers will be permitted to stand socially distant ringside and bid for cattle in some marts from Tuesday (December 1) onwards.

Mart managers have been noting for the past few weeks that some farmers were awaiting the return of ringside buyers until they brought their animals for auction. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in the number of cattle at auctions this week.

The trade last week saw cull cows receive another boost in some marts, with one mart manager stating that cows were trading €20-30/head more than the previous week.

Again, last week saw a demand in marts for forward-type cattle, with factories still striving to increase throughput in the run up to Christmas.

Meanwhile, farmers still seem to have confidence in purchasing store cattle, as marts recorded Angus-bred store bullocks and heifers, in particular, trading from €1.90/kg up to €2.05/kg. Hereford-bred stores sold slightly behind in comparison at €1.80/kg up to €2.00/kg in some marts.

Also Read: Ringside buying at mart could boost trade for lighter store cattle - Brian Hogan

This week AgriLand takes a look at the recent sales of cattle in Kilkenny, Castlerea and Carnew Marts.

Kilkenny Mart

A total of 500 head of cattle were on offer in Kilkenny Mart last Thursday (November 26). According to the mart’s auctioneer, George Candler, all of the lots on offer were met with an “excellent trade”, with an overall clearance of 95% achieved.

The demand amongst factory agents for the more forward-type animals was also noted last week, as George stated: “Beef and forward store bullocks were in short supply, with a top call of €1,880 for 885kg.”

Forward-type steers traded between €1.70/kg to €2.30/kg last week. Store bullocks weighing from 500kg up to 600kg sold from €1.65/kg to €2.46/kg.

Sample forward bullock prices (weighing over 600kg):

  • Limousin: 885kg – €1,880 or €2.12/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 815kg – €1,800 or €2.21/kg;
  • Angus: 715kg – €1,170 or €1.64/kg;
  • Hereford: 655kg – €1,180 or €1.80/kg;
  • Friesian: 630kg – €1,080 or €1.71/kg;
  • Limousin: 600kg – €1,360 or €2.27/kg.

Sample store bullock prices (weighing 500-600kg):

  • Limousin: 590kg – €1,430 or €2.42/kg;
  • Angus: 590kg – €1,240 or €2.10/kg;
  • Angus: 585kg  – €1,250 or €2.14/kg;
  • Friesian: 540kg – €980 or €1.81/kg;
  • Charolais: 535kg – €1,260 or  €2.36/kg;
  • Limousin: 505kg – €1,240 or €2.46/kg.

Lighter store bullocks weighing under 500kg sold from €1.50/kg up to €2.55/kg.

Sample lighter store bullock prices:

  • Simmental: 480kg – €1,180 or €2.46/kg;
  • Charolais: 470kg – €1,190 or €2.53/kg;
  • Friesian: 440kg – €760 or €1.73/kg;
  • Charolais: 420kg – €1,050 or €2.50/kg;
  • Hereford: 405kg – €780 or €1.93/kg;
  • Charolais: 390kg – €930 or €2.38/kg;
  • Angus: 390kg – €910 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin: 385kg – €920 or €2.39/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €940 or €2.47/kg;
  • Angus: 340kg – €710 or €2.09/kg.

There was a good trade recorded for heifers, with forward females selling from €1.70/kg up to €2.52/kg.

Sample forward heifer prices:

  • Saler: 680kg – €1,390 or €2.04/kg;
  • Charolais: 660kg – €1,460 or €2.21/kg;
  • Charolais: 610kg – €1,410 or €2.31/kg;
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,250 or €2.17/kg;
  • Hereford: 545kg –  €1,090 or €2.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 540kg – €1,360 or €2.52/kg.

Store heifers (under 500kg) sold from €1.65/kg up to €2.47/kg.

Sample store heifer prices:

  • Hereford: 495kg – €990 or €2.00/kg;
  • Angus: 475kg – €920 or €1.94/kg;
  • Limousin: 460kg – €1,080 or €2.35/kg;
  • Angus: 450kg – €900 or €2.00/kg;
  • Hereford: 440kg – €890 or €2.02/kg;
  • Limousin: 430kg – €950 or  €2.21/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €960 or €2.43/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €940 or  €2.47/kg;
  • Angus: 340kg – €710 or €2.09/kg;
  • Hereford: 315kg – €580 or €1.84/kg.

Last week saw a rise in cull cows being brought forward for sale as George explained:

“Cow numbers increased last week, with over 120 cows on offer and a full clearance achieved.”

Continental-type cull cows traded from €1.40/kg to €1.95/kg, while Friesian-bred cows sold from €0.70/kg up to €1.50/kg.

Castlerea Mart

There was a big turnout of cattle in Castlerea Mart last week, according to the mart’s manager, Brendan Egan. The mart held its weekly sale of heifers and dry cows last Thursday (November 26).

Brendan stated: “The trade held firm and, in some cases, improved [for some classes of stock]. The heifer ring reported a good trade with forward-types in strong demand last week – while breeding stock were similar to previous week.”

Sample heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 420kg – €1,100 or €2.61/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 390kg – €1,050 or €2.69/kg;
  • Simmental: 365kg – €1,140 or €3.12/kg;
  • Limousin: 403kg – €1,000 or €2.48/kg;
  • Limousin: 560kg – €1,290 or €2.30/kg;
  • Limousin: 450kg – €1,160 or €2.57/kg;
  • Angus: 630kg – €1,350 or €2.14/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,300 or €2.50/kg.

Cows with calves at foot traded from €1,070/head up to €1,570/head, while springing cows made from €1,420 back to €900. According to Brendan: “The cow trade reported improvement also last week, with a good clearance taking place.”

Sample dry cow prices:

  • Limousin: 810kg – €1,470 or €1.81/kg;
  • Charolais: 780kg – €1,450 or €1.85/kg;
  • Simmental: 765kg – €1,450 or €1.89/kg;
  • Angus: 730kg – €1,300 or €1.78/kg;
  • Simmental: 715kg – €1,350 or €1.88/kg;
  • Angus: 675kg – €1,230 or €1.82/kg;
  • Friesian: 590kg – €600 or €0.88/kg.

The mart also hosted a sale of weanlings on Thursday, with Brendan highlighting a lot of “farmer activity” last week with the “quality lots” seeing an improved trade.

Sample weanling bull prices:

  • Charolais: 450kg – €950 or €2.11/kg;
  • Limousin: 390kg – €880 or €2.25/kg;
  • Limousin: 350kg – €900 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais: 300kg – €890 or €2.96/kg;
  • Charolais: 295kg – €900 or €3.05/kg;
  • Charolais: 280kg – €850 or €3.03/kg;
  • Angus: 265kg – €780 or €2.94/kg;
  • Charolais: 260kg – €830 or €3.19/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 385kg – €990 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais: 320kg – €830 or €2.59/kg;
  • Limousin: 290kg – €840 or €2.89/kg;
  • Limousin: 275kg – €1,000 or €3.63/kg;
  • Limousin: 270kg – €780 or €2.88/kg;
  • Charolais: 260kg – €780 or €3.00/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 250kg – €810 or €3.24/kg.

Brendan noted there was a “strong demand for all classes of stock” at the weekly sale of bullocks last Monday (November 23). In total, there was up to 150 steers on offer.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Charolais: 685kg – €1,550 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 665kg – €1,480 or €2.22/kg;
  • Charolais: 615kg – €1,440 or €2.34/kg;
  • Angus: 610kg – €1,260 or €2.06/kg;
  • Charolais: 595kg – €1,390 or €2.33/kg;
  • Charolais: 550kg – €1,250 or €2.27/kg;
  • Charolais: 500kg – €1,160 or €2.32/kg;
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,160 or €2.36/kg;
  • Limousin: 485kg – €1,230 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais: 435kg – €1,150 or €2.64/kg.

Carnew Mart

Carnew Mart hosted its final evening weanling sale last Wednesday (November 25). According to David Quinn, the mart’s manager, there was “excellent farmer demand” for both heifer and bull weanlings. In total, there was 180 weanlings on offer.

On the day, weanling bulls sold from €1.88/kg to €3.11/kg.

Sample weanling bull prices:

  • Piedmontese: 482kg – €1,060 or €2.19/kg;
  • Limousin: 436kg – €900 or €2.06/kg;
  • Charolais: 392kg – €930 or €2.37/kg;
  • Charolais: 395kg – €840 or €2.12/kg;
  • Piedmontese: 360kg – €940 or €2.61/kg;
  • Limousin: 350kg – €770 or €2.20/kg;
  • Charolais: 270kg – €700 or €2.59/kg;
  • Charolais: 230kg – €560 or €2.43/kg.

Sample heifer weanling prices:

  • Charolais: 468kg – €990 or €2.11/kg;
  • Limousin: 426kg – €870 or €2.04/kg;
  • Limousin: 350kg – €820 or €2.34/kg;
  • Angus: 342kg – €780 or €2.82/kg;
  • Charolais: 330kg – €730 or €2.21/kg;
  • Charolais: 326kg – €780 or €2.39/kg;
  • Angus: 320kg – €520 or €1.62/kg;
  • Hereford: 246kg – €550 or €2.37/kg. 

The mart also held a sale of 90 suckler cows and in-calf heifers. David highlighted a “strong demand” for these females. In-calf cows sold up to €1,600/head, while the in-calf heifers traded at highs of €1,480/head.