Mart trade: Overall numbers back, but strong supplies of cull cows

Over the past number of days, mart managers have noted a decline in the number of cattle presented for sale.

Dairy farmers continue to cull cows and the downward price pressure on cows in the processing plants is also evident in the marts.

In addition, bullocks and heifers are reported to be steady. Meanwhile, the weanling trade has become a little harder – mainly due to the quality of the lots on offer.

Continental lots are reported to be the best trade, but dairy-origin stock are more difficult to get away.

Ballinrobe Mart

Ballinrobe Mart hosted a big sale of cattle on Wednesday last (November 21), with reports that buyers were naturally placing emphasis on quality when making purchases.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 575kg – €1,320 or €2.30/kg;
  • Limousin: 485kg – €1,275 or €2.63/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 435kg – €1,095 or €2.52/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 370kg – €890 or €2.41/kg.

The top price in the dry cow category went to a Simmental cross cow. She weighed 885kg and fetched €1,520 or €1.78/kg. Furthermore, a Limousin cross cow with a heifer calf at foot made €1,665.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 508kg – €1,210 or €2.38/kg;
  • Simmental: 675kg – €1,410 or €2.09/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 420kg – €955 or €2.27/kg.

Carnew Mart

Similar to the previous week, 340 weanlings were on offer last Wednesday (November 21) at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow.

The trade was reported to be good, with strong export demand for lighter, quality bulls. Plainer Hereford, Friesian and Angus bulls were also popular with these buyers.

It was also reported that weanling bulls – weighing under 400kg – made €510-1070/head, while those weighing over 400kg made €770-1,380/head.

Furthermore, weanling heifers under 400kg made €450-960/head and the heavier lots (>400kg) commanded a price of €730-1,180/head.

On Saturday (November 24), there was a good entry of 730 cattle with 150 dry cows on offer. It was noted that there were more farmer buyers present, which resulted in an improved trade with prices for all cattle types up slightly.

Sample prices:
  • Beef and forward bullocks: €540-930 over;
  • Continental store Bullocks: €450-860 over;
  • Dairy origin bullocks: €60-580 over;
  • Continental beef heifers: €530-880 over;
  • Store heifers: €230-770 over;
  • Beef cows: €310-725 over;
  • Store cows: €130 under – €310 over.

Castlerea Mart

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan outlined that there were good numbers of stock presented for sale again last Thursday (November 22), with trade similar to previous weeks.

It was noted that the heifer trade was strong – especially for quality forward stores, while the weanling rings reported a steady trade, but plainer type stock were a difficult sell.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 420kg – €980 or €2.33/kg;
  • Charolais: 495kg – €1,300 or €2.62/kg;
  • Charolais: 660kg – €1,480 or €2.24/kg.

In addition, cows with calves at foot sold for €700-2,320/unit and springers traded for €700-1,380/head.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 275kg – €735 or €2.67/kg;
  • Charolais: 290kg – €790 or €3.03/kg;
  • Charolais: 415kg – €1,080 or €2.60/kg.

In addition, there were many dry cows on offer with a high percentage of store cow lots. Breeding stock were reported to be a very good trade, with a top price of €2,320 paid for a Charolais cow and a Hereford bull calf at foot.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 290kg – €845 or €2.91/kg;
  • Charolais: 275kg – €830 or €3.01/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €990 or €2.50/kg;
  • Limousin: 295kg – €785 or €2.66/kg.

On Monday last (November 19), 180 bullocks were on offer. It was noted that prices improved for the better-quality forward stores. However, lesser-quality stock was unchanged from previous weeks with a good clearance taking place.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,200 or €2.44/kg;
  • Limousin: 595kg – €1,325 or €2.22/kg;
  • Charolais: 640kg – €1,400 or €2.18/kg.

Raphoe Mart

The cattle trade at Raphoe Mart last Thursday (November 22) was reported to have been similar to previous weeks. It was noted that quality, in-spec cattle were most sought after, while lighter plainer types of cattle proved a more difficult trade.

Sample prices:
  • Beef bullocks – €580-720 over;
  • Store bullocks – €380-798 over;
  • Beef heifers – €480-760 over;
  • Store heifers – €350-720 over;
  • Dry cows – €665-1,375/head.

Kilkenny Mart

On Tuesday last, Kilkenny Mart hosted a sale of 800 cattle. The trade was reported to have been similar to previous weeks for bullocks, while there was more activity in the heifer ring. This resulted in an increase of €20-40/head on last week’s figures.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,010 or €2.56/kg;
  • Simmental: 570kg – €1,320 or €2.32/kg;
  • Charolais: 600kg – €1,280 or €2.13/kg;
  • Limousin: 610kg – €1,280 or €2.13/kg.

In the bullock ring, steers (<400kg) sold for €480-€1,010/head or €1.40-2.56/kg, while the heavier lots (400-500kg) made €620-1,260/head or €1.60-2.60/kg.

Lots falling into the 500-600kg category sold for €850-1,340/head or €1.70-2.55/kg and lots weighing 600kg upwards made €900-1,520/head or €1.65-2.35/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 365kg – €940 or €2.44/kg;
  • Limousin: 655kg – €1,485 or €2.27/kg;
  • Charolais: 660kg – €1,440 or €2.18/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows sold for €0.60-1.50/kg and the continental types made €1.15-1.80/kg.

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