Mart trade: Forward stock proving popular, but overall trade mixed

The weather we are experiencing at the moment is taking its toll on cattle marts across the country.

Kilkenny Mart’s George Candler highlighted that there are a lot fewer customers operating due to grass scarcities and many potential sellers are reluctant to bring cattle out due to the reduction in prices last week.

On the other hand, some managers reported larger numbers; this is most likely due to farmers off-loading cattle on the back of poor grass growth.

Again, it’s the quality of the stock that is driving prices. Good-quality forward stock are proving popular among farmer customers, while the weanling trade is buoyed by exporter demand.

Plainer stock – especially stock with strong dairy influence – are proving to be the most difficult trade.

Kilkenny Mart

A smaller cattle sale was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Thursday last, according to the mart’s auctioneer George Candler.

“The trade has steadied especially for quality lots,” he explained.

Lighter heifer lots peaked at €3.13/kg. In general, the heavier lots made €2.00-2.40/kg, €1.80-2.40/kg was paid for the forward store lots and the lighter store classes (<400kg) made €650-1,060/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 660kg – €1,480 or €2.24/kg;
  • Hereford: 580kg – €1,205 or €2.08/kg;
  • Limousin: 450kg – €970 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 500kg – €1,170 or €2.34/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 385kg – €780 or €2.03/kg;
  • Charolais: 315kg – €985 or €3.13/kg.

In addition, Friesian cull cows sold for €0.70-1.70/kg, while continental lots traded at €1.20-2.10/kg on the day.

Sample steer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 825kg – €1,860 or €2.25/kg;
  • Limousin: 715kg – €1,500 or €2.10/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 555kg – €1,105 or €1.99/kg;
  • Charolais: 475kg – €1,150 or €2.42/kg;
  • Friesian: 415kg – €750 or €1.81/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €1,020 or €2.68/kg.

Macroom Mart

Macroom Mart’s sale took place on Saturday last (June 30). Dry cows traded at €75-530 along with the weight and a Limousin cow – weighing 530kg – sold for €1,060.

Moving to the bullock trade, steers sold for €180-515 over. Two Charolais bullocks weighing 370kg made €880, while two Friesian steers sold for €1,140; they weighed 640kg on average.

In the heifer ring, heifers traded for €235-505 along with the weight. Two Limousin heifers, weighing 485kg, sold for €990, while three Hereford heifers traded for €770/head; they weighed 380kg.

Tullow Mart

Some 250 cattle were on offer at Tullow Mart on Friday, June 29. According to the mart’s Eric Driver, the trade was “holding steady” for forward cattle. However, he noted that plainer cattle were €20-30/head cheaper.

He also noted that quality store cattle were “blistering ahead” and proved popular among farmers.

Beef and forward type bullocks were reported to sell for €700-980 over, while lighter continental type steers trading for €2.30-2.80/kg; one bullock weighing 420kg sold for €1,300. Plainer, early-maturing lots failed to break the €2.00/kg mark

In addition, Eric highlighted that plainer bullocks – weighing north of 300kg – sold in the region of €2.00/kg, with quality continental trading for €2.60-2.90/kg.

Moving to heifers, beef and forward lots sold for €700-930 over. Good-quality Charolais and Limousin store heifers – weighing 400kg – sold from €2.40/kg up to €2.85/kg. Plainer Aberdeen Angus and Hereford types sold from €1.90/kg to €2.15/kg.

Friesian cull cows sold for €150 over; fleshed Friesian cows were reported to make €350-400 along with their weight. Continental lots traded for €200-750 over on the day.

Looking at the calf trade, Friesian lots – suitable for export – made €100-150/head. Hereford and Angus heifers and bulls sold for €100/head and €270/head respectively.

Castlerea Mart

450 cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday (June 28). The trade was reported to be firm for heifers, bullocks and cows.

The mart’s Brendan Egan noted store heifers and bullocks remained a strong trade, while the weanling trade was similar to previous weeks.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 360kg – €1,080 or €3.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 390kg – €1,165 or €2.98/kg;
  • Charolais: 470kg – €1,190 or €2.53/kg;
  • Limousin: 515kg – €1,345 or €2.61/kg.

In addition, he said, breeding stock, suck calves and dry cows all recorded good clearances.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 335kg – €900 or €2.68/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 445kg – €1,130 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 260kg – €805 or €3.09/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 295kg – €935 or €3.16/kg.

According to Brendan, cows with calves at foot made up to €2,000/unit.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 605kg – €1,180 or €1.95/kg;
  • Limousin: 740kg – €1,485 or €2.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 595kg – €1,375 or €2.31/kg;
  • Limousin: 735kg – €1,435 or €1.95/kg.

In the calf ring, calves made €130-405/head, while runners sold for €400-750/head.