Mart trade: Poor weather fails to dampen ringside positivity

While the wet weather has returned, for the most part, cattle sales have remained upbeat in the majority of cases.

Feedlot buyers are still after that heavier bullock or heifer that requires further feeding. Weanling prices continue to hold steady.

Mart managers have highlighted the continued demand for the better-quality animal, with cow prices reported to be holding steady.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 730 cattle went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, March 7. The trade was reported to be very good – especially for continental-type bullocks and heifers.

The mart’s auctioneer George Candler said: “There was a smaller sale of cattle in Kilkenny on Thursday, with an excellent demand for all quality continentals in both the bullock and heifer ring.

“The bulk of these animals saw prices range for quality lots from €2.25/kg to €2.80/kg. The quality Aberdeen Angus and Hereford animals were also in demand; prices ranged from €1.80/kg to €2.15/kg and in cases up to €2.20/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,280 or €2.23/kg;
  • Charolais: 655kg – €1,330 or €2.03/kg;
  • Limousin: 475kg – €1,140 or €2.40/kg;
  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,045 or €2.46/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 460kg – €880 or €1.91/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,070 or €2.71/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €900 or €2.61/kg;
  • Charolais: 315kg – €945 or €3.00/kg.

“There were also farmers sourcing British Friesian-type bullocks with close to €2.00/kg for the top lots, with the bulk ranging from €1.65/kg to €1.85/kg.”

Sample steer prices:
  • Aubrac: 715kg – €1,570 or €2.20/kg;
  • Friesian: 650kg – €1,250 or €1.92/kg;
  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,340 or €2.58/kg;
  • Limousin: 475kg – €1,230 or €2.59/kg;
  • Friesian: 465kg – €830 or €1.78/kg;
  • Charolais: 390kg – €1,030 or €2.64/kg;
  • Friesian: 305kg – €560 or €1.84/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.70-1.40/kg, while continental types sold for €1.30-1.95/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Numbers were reported to have increased at Castlerea Mart on Thursday last, March 7, with the mart’s largest sale of the year taking place.

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan outlined that despite the recent inclement weather conditions, the trade remained strong for all stock and – in some cases prices have improved.

“Breeding stock in particular and quality stores for further feeding recorded some very fancy prices on the day. The increased numbers of bullocks on offer met with stronger demand this week.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 460kg – €1,230 or €2.67/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 525kg – €1,260 or €2.40/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 575kg – €1,415 or €2.46/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 460kg – €1,230 or €2.67/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 530kg – €1,500 or €2.83/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 410kg – €1,060 or €2.58/kg.

“The cow trade reported a good clearance, and the calf ring with increased numbers on offer witnessed better demand – especially for the better-quality lots,” he added.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 280kg – €810 or €2.89/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 240kg – €800 or €3.33/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 295kg – €1,015 or €3.44/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 275kg – €930 or €3.38/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €950-1,380/head, while cows with calves at foot made €1,300-1,720/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows were also on offer.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,000 or €2.04/kg;
  • Limousin: 720kg – €1,225 or €1.70/kg;
  • Hereford: 755kg – €1,150 or €1.52/kg;
  • Friesian: 650kg – €745 or €1.14/kg.

In the calf ring, Friesian bulls sold for €10-70/head; Hereford and Angus bulls made €150-280/head, with continentals selling for €230-380/head.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (February 28) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “good show” of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin, which brought an “excellent trade for all types, with quality stock selling exceptionally well”.

“Lighter lots selling up to and over €3.00/kg and heavier lots selling up to €980 over for males and €1,035 over for heifers,” she explained.

Bulls weighing over 600kg made €570-980 over and beef bullocks sold for €580-685 over, while store lots made €350-865 along with their weight.

On the heifer front, beef lots went under the hammer for €520-1,035 over and store heifers sold at €350-795 along with their weight.

In addition, dry cows sold for €500-1,470/head.