Mart trade: Large numbers and increased demand for suckler-bred stock

Mart managers across the country have reported that large numbers of cattle were presented for sale last week, with strong demand for quality lots.

Where quality suckler-bred animals have been presented for sale, these lots have achieved the best prices; however, like last week, plainer cattle have continued to be a harder sell.

Short-keep stock are still popular around the country, with both heifers and bullocks – weighing over 500kg – in most demand. In addition, some mart managers have reported that heifer prices have increased slightly in some parts of the country.

Looking at weanling sales, quality is the main driver of price. Naturally, plainer types are an easier trade. Again, farmer buyer activity has been strong when it comes to these animals.

Over the past week, the number of cull cows presented for sale has increased, with good-quality continental stock in demand.

Carnew Mart

A large entry of 1,100 cattle and 100 calves were on offer at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, last Saturday. There was strong demand for quality beef cattle, whereas there was less demand for lighter and plainer lots.

Forward store continental bullocks made €650-1,030 along with their weight. Continental store bullocks and heifers sold for €420-780 and €250-720 over respectively; Friesian steers made €60-520 over.

In addition, beef cows fetched €350-860 over and store cows made between €100 under the weight and €350 over; in-calf suckler cows made €950-1,280/head.

Calf prices:
  • Friesian bulls – €60-220/head;
  • Continental bulls – €225-440/head;
  • Continental heifers – €140-320/head.

Castlerea Mart

It was also reported that there were high numbers of stock presented for sale at Castlerea Mart last Thursday.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Aberdeen Angus: 425kg – €960 or €2.25/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 550kg – €1,345 or €2.44/kg;
  • Charolais: 420kg – €1,000 or €2.38/kg;
  • Limousin: 455kg – €1,245 or €2.73/kg;
  • Limousin: 640kg – €1,485 or €2.32/kg;
  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,055 or €2.48/kg.

Prices are holding firm with increased farmer activity this week – especially in the weanling rings. Prices were still very strong for top-quality calves, heifers, dry cows and breeding stock.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 295kg – €935 or €3.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 265kg – €825 or €3.11/kg;
  • Charolais: 350kg – €1,190 or €3.40/kg;
  • Charolais: 375kg – €1,085 or €2.89/kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,115 or €2.37/kg;
  • Limousin: 320kg – €795 or €2.48/kg.

Dry cows made €360-1,400/head; cows with calves at foot made from €800/head to €1,650/head.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 290kg – €900 or €3.10/kg;
  • Charolais: 350kg – €1,060 or €3.02/kg;
  • Charolais: 285kg – €890 or €3.12/kg;
  • Limousin: 355kg – €900 or €2.53/kg;
  • Limousin: 330kg – €905 or €2.74/kg.

Ennis Mart

A big sale of cattle was reported at Ennis Mart last week with over 1,000 head on offer. The trade was reported to have gone very well in the bullock and heifer rings.

Bullocks made €1,120-1,615/head or €2.16-2.57/kg. Heifers commanded a price of €1,020-1,500/head or €2.43-2.69/kg.

It was noted that there was a very large entry of 280 cull cows and also a number of aged bulls. Cull cows made from €1,140/head to €1,620/head, while aged bulls topped out at €1,660/head; this was a Limousin weighing 1,065kg.

Kilkenny Mart

On Thursday last, there was another good turnout of cattle at Kilkenny Mart with the trade similar to last week – especially for quality lots; plainer cattle were the most difficult to sell.

Beef heifers made €1,200-1,350/head or €2.14-2.20/kg. Forward store heifers sold for €820-1,080/head or €1.74-2.00/kg. Lighter heifers made €510-1,040/head.

In the bullock ring, bullocks (<400kg) sold for €400-980/head or €1.35-2.60kg, while the heavier lots (400-500kg) made €550-1,210/head or €1.50-2.60/kg.

Lots falling into the 500-600kg category sold for €710-1,450/head or €1.60-2.50/kg and lots weighing 600kg upwards made €950-1,700/head or €1.70-2.40/kg.

Kilfenora Mart

The bank holiday weekend proved to be very busy at Kilfenora Mart; on Saturday and Monday, there was a good trade reported for the large entry of cattle.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 322kg – €1,065 or €3.30/kg;
  • Charolais: 310kg – €1,060 or €3.42/kg;
  • Charolais: 301kg – €930 or €3.08/kg;
  • Charolais: 280kg – €880 or €3.14/kg;
  • Charolais: 356kg – €965 or €2.70/kg;
  • Charolais: 295kg – €1,000 or €3.39/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €1,000 or €2.63/kg;
  • Limousin: 305kg – €985 or €2.23/kg;
  • Limousin: 315kg – €900 or €2.86/kg;
  • Limousin: 295kg – €885 or €3.00/kg.

Continental bullocks made €810-1,050/head or €2.08-2.32/kg. Continental heifers made €775-1,060/head or €2.24-2.77/kg.

Cull cows sold for €930-1,390/head or €1.43-1.72/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 265kg tor €1,060 – €4.00/kg;
  • Charolais: 320kg – €940 or €2.94/kg;
  • Charolais: 360kg – €930 or €2.58/kg;
  • Charolais: 325kg – €900 or €2.77/kg;
  • Charolais: 275kg – €810 or €2.94/kg;
  • Limousin: 355kg – €915 or €2.58/kg;
  • Limousin: 332kg – €930 or €2.78/kg;
  • Limousin: 320kg – €825 or €2.58/kg;
  • Limousin: 280kg – €910 or €3.25/kg;
  • Limousin: 250kg – €800 or €3.20/kg.