Mart trade: More positivity witnessed at the ringside

A more positive atmosphere is surrounding the mart trade in recent weeks, with a good demand from farmers sourcing cattle for pasture due to the large availability of grass and favourable conditions in some parts.

Weanling prices have continued in the right direction and this has been welcomed by farmers. While lots suitable for further feeding are popular, so too are the lighter weanlings.

Mart managers have described the cull cow trade as steady, with top-quality lots coming in just shy of the €2.00/kg mark.

However – on the other hand – the trade for plainer, lesser-quality cattle remains sluggish.

Tullow Mart

According to the mart’s manager, Eric Driver, the trade was positive in Tullow Mart on Friday last, February 8. He also noted that there was plenty of demand around the ring for forward store-type animals.

Friesian cull cows sold in the region of €1.00-250 over, while continental cows were reported to be a slightly easier trade. Feeder cows sold for €150 over to a top of €500 along with the weight.

Looking at the bullock trade, forward store Hereford and Angus lots sold for €190 along with the weight; €2.10-2.15/kg was paid for some of the younger continental bullocks. Friesian bullocks were reported to sell in the region of €1.75/kg.

Lighter continental bullocks weighing in excess of 400kg made €2.00-2.25/kg, while “exceptional” steers made up to €2.45/kg.

Hereford and Angus forward and beef heifers sold for €1.85-1.90/kg and up to €2.20/kg for good continental lots. Plainer Angus and Hereford store heifers sold in the region of €1.75/kg.

In the calf ring, a steady trade was reported with shipping calves making €50-90/head. Some “well-reared” Friesian calves made €120-140/head. Some of the lighter Friesian calves sold from a base of €25/head.

Eric also noted that continental heifer calves made €210-350/head, with some “exceptional” bulls making in excess of €350/head; Hereford and Angus heifers made €120-200/head, while bulls were reported to sell for €270-280/head.

Kilkenny Mart

A sale – consisting of 550 animals – was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Thursday last, according to the mart’s auctioneer, George Candler.

He said: “The presence of more buyers resulted in a lift in prices all round. Most lots were increased by €20-40/head compared to last week, with some quality continentals increased by €50/head as opposed to last week’s returns.

“The reason for the increase is hard to fathom, but perhaps some farmers now feel they have sufficient feed to see them through this winter. There is also the suggestion that when grass becomes plentiful, prices may increase significantly.”

The heavier heifer lots made €1.80-2.40/kg, €1.90-2.20/kg was paid for the forward store lots and the lighter store classes (<400kg) made €1.50-2.55/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Aberdeen Angus: 570kg – €1,180 or €2.07/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,080 or €2.08/kg;
  • Hereford: 480kg – €970 or €2.02/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €880 or €2.55/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €810 or €2.13/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 295kg – €590 or €2.00/kg.

In the steer ring, butcher lots traded for €1.70-2.30/kg, while steers – weighing 500-600kg – made €1.60-2.50/kg. In addition, forward store lots sold well and the majority sold at €1.50-3.12/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 770kg – €1,560 or €2.03/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 610kg – €1,230 or €2.02/kg;
  • Charolais: 505kg – €1,200 or €2.38/kg;
  • Limousin: 570kg – €1,290 or €2.26/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 265kg – €535 or €2.02/kg;
  • Charolais: 250kg – €780 or €3.12/kg.

A number of cull cows were also on offer and Friesian cows were reported to trade for €0.70-1.80/kg, while continental cows went under the hammer for €1.10-2.00/kg.

Carnew Mart

Some 1,426 cattle and 200 calves went under the hammer in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Saturday last (February 9).

David Quinn, the mart manager, said the trade remained strong with plenty of farmer customers. There was a strong demand for beef and forward store cattle with local and northern agents very active.

Beef and factory-fit bullocks traded for €650-1,020 over, while continental store bullocks made €450-830 over; Friesian steers sold for €220-600 along with their weight.

In addition, weanling bulls were reported to sell in the region of €450-780 along with the weight.

Heifers were reported to trade well; stores made €330-780 over and beef lots traded for €550-930 along with their weight.

Beef cows fetched €320-660 over, while store cows made €80 under and €360 over the weight. In-calf cows were reported to sell for €900-1,520/head.

Sample calf prices:

Continental bulls: €210-380;
Continental heifers: €140-310;
Friesian bulls: €40-160.