Mart trade: Firm demand for forward-type cattle

Similar to weeks gone by, forward, short-keep cattle are in demand among customers at marts across the country.

Continental heifers and bullocks weighing in the region of 450kg upwards are proving popular, while lots from dairy origin are an easier trade; beef lots are also a firm trade.

The cull cow trade has strengthened slightly and some marts are reporting prices in excess of €2.00/kg in some cases.

Weanling sales are starting to kick into gear, but the overall trade remains mixed. Better-quality stock are realising the highest prices, while plainer stock are a more difficult trade.

Kilkenny Mart

Last Thursday’s sale at Kilkenny Mart was the largest sale of the season, according to the mart’s auctioneer, George Candler; 1,050 cattle went under the hammer.

He outlined that there was a much larger entry of cattle than normal and that forward store bullocks and heifers were in demand.

“Continental types in excess of 470kg were in demand for both bullocks and heifers. Light store bullocks and heifers under 340kg – with a dairy influence – are the most difficult to sell,” he explained.

George also noted that cull cows met an improved demand. Continuing, he explained that there seems to be a two-tier system developing between quality continentals and dairy influenced cattle.

“The only problem is that there has been a dramatic decrease in the suckler herd in this part of the country, which would suggest that animals with a dairy influence will be the predominate type being sold in marts.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Aubrac: 670kg – €1,600 or €2.39/kg;
  • Charolais: 585kg – €1,370 or €2.34/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 460kg – €930 or €2.02/kg;
  • Hereford: 520kg – €1,050 or €2.02/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 385kg – €740 or €1.92/kg;
  • Charolais: 475kg – €1,065 or €2.24/kg.

In addition, Friesian cull cows sold for €1.05-1.50/kg, while continental lots traded at €1.30-2.06/kg on the day.

Sample steer prices:
  • Friesian: 780kg – €1,450 or €1.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 755kg – €1,790 or €2.37/kg;
  • Limousin: 580kg – €1,470 or €2.53/kg;
  • Hereford: 556kg – €1,230 or €2.18/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 490kg – €910 or €1.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 465kg – €1,100 or €2.37/kg;
  • Hereford: 370kg – €670 or €1.81/kg;
  • Limousin: 365kg – €950 or €2.60/kg.

Balla Mart

An improved trade was reported from Balla Mart’s sale on Saturday last. The mart manager reported that there was a great trade with some stores making serious prices.

Bullocks weighing 300-400kg averaged €2.16/kg, while good-quality store bullocks weighing in the region of 450kg made approximately €1,200/head. Steers falling into the 400-500kg category sold for €2.21/kg on average.

In addition, heavier bullocks (500kg upwards) averaged €2.12/kg on average. The best of these was a May-2016 born Charolais bullock; he sold for €1,890.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,050 or €2.66/kg;
  • Charolais: 480kg – €1,290 or €2.69/kg;
  • Charolais: 585kg – €1,470 or €2.51/kg;
  • Charolais: 670kg – €1,600 or €2.39/kg;
  • Limousin: 820kg – €1,890 or €2.30/kg.

200 heifers went under the hammer and the trade was reported to be very steady; lots weighing up to 400kg sold for an average price of €2.30/kg. The heavier lots (400-500kg) traded at €2.20/kg on average, while heifers (upwards of 500kg) made an average price of €2.14/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,045 or €2.65/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 485kg – €1,245 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais: 665kg – €1,500 or €2.26/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 705kg – €1,875 or €2.66/kg.

In addition, some 120 cows went under the hammer last week; these lots averaged €1.80/kg. The best of the dry cows was a 730kg, February-2014 born Limousin cow; she made €2,000.

Moreover, a number of weanlings were also on offer. Generally speaking, bulls traded for €2.36-2.64/kg. €1,000 or €2.56/kg was paid for a January-2018 born Charolais bull.

Macroom Mart

Macroom Mart’s sale took place on Saturday last (August 25). Dry cows traded at €120-565 along with the weight and a Charolais cow – weighing 770kg – made the top price on the day; she sold for €1,330. A Hereford cow – weighing 725kg – made €1,290.

Moving to the bullock trade, early-maturing lots sold for €230-490 over, while continental types made €285-575 over.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 510kg – €1,085 or €2.12/kg;
  • Charolais: 425kg – €970 or €2.28/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 505kg – €975 or €1.93/kg;
  • Hereford: 470kg – €835 or €1.77/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 445kg – €845 or €1.89/kg.

In the heifer ring, heifers traded for €200-550 along with the weight, while weanling heifers sold at €245-440 over.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 375kg – €800 or €2.13/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €810 or €2.13/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,070 or €2.05/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,000 or €2.08/kg;
  • Charolais: 425kg – €900 or €2.11/kg.

Weanling bulls also went under the hammer on the day and these lots sold for €260-475 over. A Charolais bull weighing 365kg made €840 or €2.30/kg.

Castlerea Mart

A larger number of cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday last. The store trade was reported to be holding firm with good demand for both bullocks and heifers.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 405kg – €1,105 or €2.72/kg;
  • Limousin: 420kg – €1,150 or €2.73/kg;
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,175 or €2.39/kg;
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,465 or €2.54/kg.

In addition, the cull cow trade was also reported to be holding firm; forward lots were the best trade. Breeding stock and runners recorded good clearances.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 465kg – €1,260 or €2.70/kg;
  • Limousin: 445kg – €1,150 or €2.58/kg;
  • Charolais: 620kg – €1,395 or €2.25/kg;
  • Limousin: 600kg – €1,420 or €2.36/kg.

Weanlings numbers were also reported to be increasing with a good demand for the better-quality lots; plainer weanlings were a more difficult trade.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 370kg – €840 or €2.27/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 275kg – €750 or €2.72/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 285kg – €850 or €2.98/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 275kg – €750 or €2.72/kg.

According to the mart’s Brendan Egan, cows with calves at foot made €1,030-1,390/pair and in-calf cows traded for €980-1,360/head.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 900kg – €1,770 or €1.96/kg;
  • Limousin: 750kg – €1,565 or €2.08/kg;
  • Limousin: 730kg – €1,485 or €2.03/kg;
  • Limousin: 660kg – €1,360 or €2.06/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Similar to other cattle marts across the country, Raphoe Mart witnessed an increase in the number of stock presented for sale on Thursday last.

The trade for in-spec and quality cattle was reported to be good; the trade for plainer cattle was also said to have improved.

Early-maturing lots sold in excess of €2.00/kg; forward-type cattle were most popular on the day. Top-class bulls – weighing over 600kg – sold for €600-1,000 over, the mart manager stated. Store bullocks made €400-905 over.

Moving to heifers, beef lots made €500-760 over and store lots traded at €350-645 over. Dry cows sold for €800-1,365/head.

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