Mayo/Sligo (Ballina) Mart hosted its weekly mart on Tuesday (May 24) with a total of 500 cattle on offer.

Mart manager Billy Loftus noted there was a smaller number of cattle on offer this week and attributed this partly to the spring cattle numbers starting to ease off.

Despite the smaller number of cattle on offer, there was a roaring trade witnessed for all type of stock.

In particular, a red-hot trade was witnessed for the forward and beef-type cattle in the sale.

Prices observed in the cull cow ring stole the show with a 952kg Charolais dry cow making €3,160, or €3.32/kg, and another 908kg Charolais dry cow selling for €3,080, or €3.39/kg.

Top prices from the cull cow ring:

  • 662kg Limousin cow: €1,875, or €2.83/kg;
  • 884kg Limousin cow: €2,820, or €3.19/kg;
  • 840kg Limousin cow: €2,790, or €3.32/kg;
  • 650kg Limousin cow: €2,100, or €3.23/kg.

Factory agents were very active for the heavy-type cows and were prepared to go the distance on price to secure suitable cows.


At the bullock ring, customers from Northern Ireland had noticeably increased bidding activity for heavy bullocks, competing against feedlots for beef and heavy Angus bullocks.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of farmer buyers on-hand to buy the lighter-type store bullocks.

Prices from the bullock ring:

  • 640kg Charolais bullock: €1,950, or €3.04/kg;
  • 540kg Charolais bullock: €1,840, or €3.41/kg;
  • 480kg Charolais bullock: €1,590, or €3.31/kg;
  • 414kg Charolais bullock: €1,400, or €3.38/kg;
  • 378kg Charolais bullock: €1,320, or €3.49/kg.

Farmers were also active for weanling bulls, with a good number of lighter-type weanling bulls on offer.

Sample bull prices:

Sample bull weanling prices:

  • 376kg Charolais bull: €1100, or €2.93/kg;
  • 236kg Limousin bull: €980, or €4.15/kg;
  • 270kg Limousin bull: €920, or €3.41/kg;
  • 222kg Angus bull: €760, or €3.42/kg;
  • 276kg Charolais bull: €1000, or €3.62/kg.

Heifers in Ballina

Heifers were a powerful trade on the day also, with factory agents, export customers and farmers looking for grass cattle all keen to secure heifers at the sale.

Sample prices from the heifer ring:

  • 648kg Limousin heifer: €1,950 or €3.00/kg;
  • 628kg Charolais heifer: €1,830 or €2.91/kg;
  • 662kg Limousin heifer: €2,080 or €3.14/kg;
  • 450kg Limousin heifer: €1,450 or €3.22/kg;
  • 324kg Charolais heifer: €1,120 or €3.46/kg;
  • 498kg Angus heifer: €1,500 €3.01/kg;
  • 332kg Charolais heifer: €1,190 or €3.58/kg;
  • 382kg Charolais heifer: €1,280 or €3.35/kg;
  • 370kg Charolais heifer: €1,320 or €3.57/kg.

There was only a small number of calves in the sale at Ballina, with some impressive prices secured for good continental calves.

Sample calf prices from Ballina:

Mart throughput

The number of cattle sold at Irish marts in the first four months of this year has increased by over 68,000 cattle compared to the first four months of last year.


The number of cattle that changed hands at marts in the first four months this year stood at just over 700,000, compared to just over 632,000 in the first four months last year.