Mart report: Northern activity increased across marts last week

The trade in most marts across the country last week was provided with a major boost in northern buyer activity.

One reason for this being the ease of purchasing animals through the use of online platforms, which is making trading life more simpler for customers from the north.

Another factor, which was highlighted by one mart manager, is “the fear of the unknown”, as the deadline for Brexit draws closer.

In terms of numbers brought forward for sale, some mart managers are suggesting that farmers are still potentially holding back on selling their cattle until restrictions are lifted in the coming weeks. While the weanling sales in some of the smaller marts across the country are going to be concluded in the next week or so, as numbers are dwindling.

The cull cow trade is continuing to improve, as marts are reporting that recovery is underway. Ballybay Mart in particular noted a weekly increases of 5c/kg for cows last Saturday.

Also Read: Mart Manager’s view: Uplift in cow trade at Ballyjamesduff Mart

Angus store cattle are still trading at prices ranging from €2.00/kg to €2.10/kg, with the more forward-type Angus continuing to be in demand amongst feedlots.

This week AgriLand takes a look at the recent sales of cattle in Ballinasloe, Ballybay and Raphoe Marts.

Ballinasloe Mart

Eilish Curley, Ballinasloe Mart manager, noted a “very good clearance” was achieved from the 400 head of cattle entered into the weekly sale last Wednesday (November 18).

Commenting on the trade, Eilish explained: “There was very good farmer demand on Wednesday; with a strong demand for store, Angus-bred, bullocks and heifers. They sold from €2.00/kg to €2.20/kg.

“Hereford-bred stores also sold well on the day, with prices from €1.90/kg to €2.15/kg. Although, they didn’t seem to meet the same demand as Angus-bred cattle.”

The continental store trade saw steers selling from €2.16/kg up to €2.70/kg, while heifers sold from €2.09/kg to €2.55/kg.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Limousin: 670kg – €1,560 or €2.33/kg;
  • Charolais: 690kg – €1,550 or €2.24/kg;
  • Limousin: 600kg – €1,420 or €2.37/kg;
  • Charolais: 445kg – €1,125 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais: 370kg – €975 or €2.63/kg.

Sample heifer prices: 

  • Limousin: 650kg – €1,440 or €2.21/kg;
  • Charolais: 600kg – €1,420 or €2.37/kg;
  • Charolais: 625kg – €1,410 or €2.25/kg;
  • Charolais: 400kg – €1,000 or €2.50/kg;
  • Charolais: 400kg – €950 or €2.38/kg.

Ballinasloe Mart also hosted its weekly sale of weanlings last Saturday (November 21). Eilish highlighted that it was the lighter weanlings on the day that traded at the better prices.

Bull weanlings traded from €2.16/kg, up to €3.15/kg. The weanling heifers sold from €2.36/kg to €3.15/kg.

Sample bull weanling prices:

  • Belgian Blue: 485kg – €1,050 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 435kg – €965 or €2.21/kg;
  • Limousin: 420kg – €1,000 or €2.38/kg;
  • Charolais: 410kg – €1,235 or €3.01/kg;
  • Charolais: 385kg – €960 or €2.49/kg.

Sample heifer prices: 

  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,005 or €2.36/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,000 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais: 395kg or €980 or 2.48/kg;
  • Limousin: 385kg or €980 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin: 325kg – €1,010 or €3.10/kg.

Ballybay Mart

A total of 210 head of cattle were brought forward for sale last Saturday (November 21), in Ballybay Mart.

Speaking about the trade, the mart’s manager, Adrian Grimes, noted:

We have seen a lot of northern buyers coming to the fore this week, especially from the feedlots and factories. They seem to be very hungry for stock and would have bought about 45% of cattle in the yard.

Having a clearance rate on Saturday of 99.6% was an impressive statistic for the mart to boast about.

“The store heifer trade was exceptional, with the average price for females coming to €2.22/kg. Heifers with Angus and Hereford breeding in them were trading back to €2.00/kg, while the more continental-types sold up €2.36/kg,” according to Adrian.

In the bullock ring, Friesian, Hereford and Angus store bullocks were sold from €1.85/kg up to €2.00/kg. Forward continental bullocks weighing over 500kg were sold at €2.20/kg to €2.35/kg.

Sample bullock prices:

  • Charolais: 645kg – €1,440 or €2.23/kg;
  • Limousin: 645kg – €1,500 or €2.32/kg;
  • Hereford: 550kg – €1,045 or €1.90/kg;
  • Hereford: 520kg – €1,020 or €1.96/kg;
  • Angus: 500kg – €1,020 or €2.04/kg;
  • Charolais: 460kg – €1,030 or €2.23/kg;
  • Angus: 450kg – €950 or €2.11/kg;
  • Limousin: 405kg – €1,010 or €2.49/kg.

Sample heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 800kg – €1,800 or €2.25/kg;
  • Charolais: 810kg – €1,750 or €2.16/kg;
  • Limousin: 700kg – €1,650 or €2.35/kg;
  • Angus: 530kg – €1,050 or €1.98/kg;
  • Limousin: 455kg – €1,090 or €2.39/kg;
  • Angus: 430kg – €980 or €2.27/kg;
  • Angus: 400kg – €960 or €2.40/kg.

Cull cows experienced an increase of 5c/kg, in comparison to previous weeks, with more factory buyer interest recorded.

Continental-type cows were selling at €1.70-1.95/kg, while dairy-bred cows were traded at €1.30-1.40/kg.

Sample cull cow prices: 

  • Charolais: 770kg – €1,350 or €1.75/kg;
  • Charolais: 730kg – €1,350 or €1.84/kg;
  • Limousin: 515kg – €960 or €1.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 500kg – €920 or €1.84/kg.

There was also a sale of 45 calves on Saturday. Adrian stated: “This was a big sale of calves for the time of year, there seems to be a massive demand for calves at the moment.”

Friesian bull calves traded on the day from €70-90/head. The Hereford bulls sold from €200-250/head, while heifers were sold at prices ranging from €180-220/head.

Raphoe Mart

Raphoe Mart held its weekly sale last Thursday (November 19), with a ‘good entry’ of cattle entered, according to the mart’s manager, Ann Harkin. She stated:

The trade remained good for all types [of cattle] on offer, especially in-spec cattle.

There was a noted “increased demand” for the more forward type of cattle, although on the day, limited supplies of “strong cattle” were on offer.

Bulls and steers traded at prices ranging from €1.80/kg to €2.50/kg. Heifers on offer sold from €1.90/kg, up to €2.60/kg – while the cull cow trade experienced prices from €500/head to €1,550/head.

Sample prices:

  • Bulls: >600kg – €600 to €640 over the weight;
  • Store bullocks: €350 to €685 over the weight;
  • Beef heifers: €450 to €880 over the weight;
  • Store heifers: €350 to €710 over the weight.