Mart trade: Feedlot buyers very active at the ringside

While mart managers have reported larger numbers in recent days, they too have noted the presence of feedlot buyers.

These buyers, along with farmers purchasing cattle for grass, have helped keep a positive atmosphere in the ‘not so positive’ beef game.

Feedlot buyers are after that heavier bullock or heifer that requires further feeding. Weanling prices are holding steady and have improved in some cases.

While the weather turned difficult at the weekend, it doesn’t compare with the weather we were experiencing this time last year, when the ‘Beast from the East’ had the country in its grip.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 1,000 cattle went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, February 28. The trade was reported to be firm – especially for continental-type bullocks and heifers.

The mart’s auctioneer George Candler said: “The bulk of Friesian bullocks ranged from €1.55/kg to €1.85/kg with forward store continental bullocks and heifers ranging from €2.15/kg to €2.55/kg with lighter types to €2.95/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 640kg – €1,350 or €2.11/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 590kg – €1,130 or €1.92/kg;
  • Limousin: 500kg – €1,100 or €2.20/kg;
  • Continental: 490kg – €1,160 or €2.37/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 470kg – €910 or €1.94/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,000 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €815 or €2.36/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 305kg – €580 or €1.90/kg.

“Dairy influenced Aberdeen Angus and Hereford heifers are the most difficult to sell,” he added. “Cull cow prices appear to have steadied; especially for the plainer animal, perhaps due to smaller numbers appearing.”

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 685kg – €1,395 or €2.04/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 630kg – €1,330 or €2.11/kg;
  • Limousin: 585kg – €1,330 or €2.27/kg;
  • Hereford: 540kg – €1,150 or €2.13/kg;
  • Friesian: 465kg – €790 or €1.70/kg;
  • Charolais: 405kg – €1,090 or €2.69/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 370kg – €740 or €2.00/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.90-1.70/kg, while continental types sold for €1.20-1.80/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Numbers were reported to have increased at Castlerea Mart on Thursday last, February 28. The mart’s manager Brendan Egan outlined that this resulted in improved prices.

“Bullocks in particular met a very lively trade, while heifers and breeding stock recorded some fancy prices on the day.”

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 495kg – €1,270 or €2.56/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 485kg – €1,235 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 595kg – €1,390 or €2.33/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 415kg – €990 or €2.38/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 480kg – €1,185 or €2.46/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 570kg – €1,355 or €2.37/kg.

“In the weanling rings, prices continue to strengthen for the quality lots. The increased numbers of suck calves recorded a good clearance with a big variance in price between the plainer lots and the better-quality lots.”

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 280kg – €840 or €3.00/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 330kg – €935 or €2.83/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 275kg – €855 or €3.10/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 390kg – €1,100 or €2.82/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €980-1,220/head, while cows with calves at foot made €1,040-1,680/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows were also on offer.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 480kg – €865 or €1.80/kg;
  • Limousin: 710kg – €1,220 or €1.71/kg;
  • Limousin: 720kg – €1,260 or €1.75/kg;
  • Limousin: 680kg – €1,190 or €1.75/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (February 28) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “bigger show” of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin, with an improved trade for all lots.

“Quality lots sold well and heifers sold up to €885 over and €860 over for bullocks, while lighter lots sold up to €3.00/kg. Plainer lots were also better with Aberdeen Angus and Herefords selling over €2.00/kg and up to €2.20/kg,” she explained.

Bulls weighing over 600kg made €575-845 over and beef bullocks sold for €630-865 over, while store lots made €225-860 along with their weight.

On the heifer front, beef lots went under the hammer for €440-885 over and store heifers sold at €250-675 along with their weight.

In addition, dry cows sold for €510-1,450/head.