Mart trade: Exporters boosting weanling prices

Both exporters and farmers are battling for quality weanlings at the ringside which, in turn, is helping to boost prices.

The excellent weather in recent days has helped to keep the trade steady for most types of stock. As always, it is the suckler-bred animal that is achieving the best prices.

The improved beef price for cows has somewhat filtered through to mart level, with some mart managers noting an improved price for short-keep or finished cows.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 1,200 cattle went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, April 18. While this was a large sale, the quality of cattle presented was reported to have dropped.

However, the trade was firm for quality continentals. The majority of continental heifers ranged from €2.25/kg to €2.80/kg, while Aberdeen Angus heifers made €1.90-2.25/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 615kg – €1,325 or €2.15/kg;
  • Charolais: 720kg – €1,680 or €2.33/kg;
  • Saler: 605kg – €1,400 or €2.31/kg;
  • Hereford: 575kg – €1,220 or €2.12/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 525kg – €1,130 or €2.15/kg;
  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,080 or €2.54/kg;
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,060 or €2.72/kg;
  • Friesian: 260kg – €500 or €1.90/kg.

The mart’s auctioneer George Candler said: “Cull cows were attracting more interest compared to the previous week’s sale.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Simmental: 635kg – €1,400 or €2.20/kg;
  • Limousin: 545kg – €1,360 or €2.50/kg;
  • Limousin: 500kg – €1,140 or €2.28/kg;
  • Hereford: 530kg – €1,050 or €1.98/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 445kg – €840 or €1.89/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 385kg – €660 or €1.71/kg;
  • Limousin: 325kg – €825 or €2.54/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.80-1.60/kg, while continental types sold for €1.20-1.85/kg.

Castlerea Mart

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan outlined that prices on Thursday last were similar to the previous week’s sale, and in some cases improved on the week before with 900 head on offer.

“The heifer ring reported a very strong trade with good quality lots on offer and prices were reflective of the good attendance present,” he explained.

The bullock sale took place on Monday, April 15, while the main sale took place on Thursday, April 18.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 485kg – €1,250 or €2.57/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 470kg – €1,365 or €2.90/kg;
  • Simmental bullock: 450kg – €1,195 or €2.65/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 425kg – €1,120 or €2.63/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 490kg – €1,295 or €2.64/kg;
  • Simmental heifer: 480kg – €1,235 or €2.57/kg.

In the calf ring, Friesian calves made €20-115/head, with Aberdeen Angus and Hereford-cross calves made €150-320/head; continentals types were reported to have made €280-390/head.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 285kg – €885 or €3.10/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 355kg – €990 or €2.78/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 275kg – €945 or €3.43/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 305kg – €905 or €2.96/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €1,100-1,760/head, while cows with calves at foot made €980-1,840/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows were also on offer.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 845kg – €1,595 or €1.88/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 795kg – €1,705 or €2.14/kg;
  • Charolais: 960kg – €1,770 or €1.84/kg;
  • Limousin: 680kg – €1,370 or €2.01/kg.

Maam Cross Mart

The trade was reported to have held well at Maam Cross Mart. The weanling bulls on offer averaged €2.44/kg.

In the heifer ring, these lots made €2.27-3.24/kg. A Charolais heifer weighing 692kg sold for €1,490; she was born in March 2017.

A number of cows were also presented for sale and these made €1.42-1.64/kg. The top price went to a Belgian Blue cow; born in 2005 and in calf to a Limousin bull, she sold for €830.

In addition, a number of cows with calves at foot were also presented for sale. These made €1.82-1.98/kg. €1,460 was paid for a Limousin cow and her Limousin heifer calf.

The bullocks on offer sold at €2.12-2.15/kg. A March-2017 born Charolais steer made the top price on the day in this section; he weighed 690kg and sold for €1,490.