Mart trade: Quality weanlings improve, but plainer types remain under pressure

With more weanlings coming on stream, prices were reported to be on the rise in recent days. However, quality is the main driver of price and plainer types still remain under pressure.

As weanling shows and sales gather momentum, this has brought more quality to the ring and increased prices.

However, the absence of exporters has been noted by mart managers and the main buyers are farmers re-stocking sheds.

Some managers have reported larger sales, with more customers gathering around the ring. Beef lots and forward types – both bullocks and heifers – remain popular, while the cull cow trade is steady.

Carnew Mart

A large sale of cattle – amounting to 1,200 head – was reported from Carnew Mart on Saturday last (September 8). The trade was said to be similar to the previous week, with a strong demand for beef and quality cattle. Following the well-established trend, dairy-influenced stock were reported to have met a tougher trade.

Beef and forward bullocks sold for €650-980 over, while continental bullocks went under the hammer for €420-780 along with their weight.

Early-maturing steers made €280-780 with their weight and lighter Friesian lots sold for €1,200 over; the heavier Friesian bullocks traded at €320-580 over.

Moving to heifers, beef lots sold at €570-960 over and continental store lots made €350-700 over. Early-maturing Hereford and Angus heifers secured prices of €180-420 over.

Beef cows were reported to fetch prices of €350-700 over; cows that required further feeding recorded prices of between €100 under their weight and €250 over.

A number of cows with calves at foot also passed through the ring on the day; these lots secured prices of €1,000-1,750/unit.

Kilkenny Mart

George Candler – Kilkenny Mart auctioneer – reported that there were more buyers present around the ring on Thursday last and outlined that the yard contained better-quality cattle.

He also noted that the presence of the additional buyers helped to boost the trade. However, he highlighted that plainer cattle from the dairy herd – especially cattle weighing 450kg or less – are still a difficult sell; but there was some customers for these lots on Thursday last.

On the day, beef bullocks sold for €950-1,970/head and lots falling into the 500-600kg weight bracket made €850-1,450/head. Lighter store bullocks (400-500kg) traded for €550-1,280/head, while bullocks weighing less than 400kg made €350-910/head.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 885kg – €1,970 or €2.23/kg;
  • Simmental: 710kg – €1,500 or €2.11/kg;
  • Limousin: 540kg – €1,450 or €2.69/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 585kg – €1,090 or €1.86/kg;
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,280 or €2.61/kg;
  • Friesian: 455kg – €800 or €1.76/kg;
  • Charolais: 375kg – €910 or €2.43/kg;
  • Friesian: 350kg – €580 or €1.66/kg.

Looking at the heifer market, the heavier beef lots sold for €1,050-1,390/head, forward store heifers made €920-1,280/head and lighter store heifers fetched €450-895/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 610kg – €1,390 or €2.28/kg;
  • Hereford: 585kg – €1,320 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 425kg – €1,020 or €2.40/kg;
  • Charolais: 520kg – €1,280 or €1.46/kg;
  • Limousin: 375kg – €800 or €2.13/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 345kg – €510 or €1.48/kg.

Friesian cull cows made €0.80/kg to €1.84/kg and continental types fetched €1.40-2.03/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Lighter store bullock and heifer prices were reported to be improved by €20-30/head on Thursday last at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon.

Numbers were reported to be running on a par with last week’s levels, with prices for plainer cattle remaining unchanged.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 435kg – €1,170 or €2.68/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 580kg – €1,375 or €2.37/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus bullock: 485kg – €1,145 or €2.36/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 415kg – €1,055 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 585kg – €1,360 or €2.32/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus heifer: 445kg – €1,100 or €2.47/kg.

Cows with calves at foot traded for €600-1,330/unit, while in-calf cows sold for €1,200-1,350/head.

Looking at the calf trade, numbers were said to have increased with young calves making €160-300/head. Stronger runners were reported to sell for €350-600/head.

The number of weanlings presented for sale increased, with an improvement in the trade and demand recorded. Forward store cows were also sought after on the day.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 320kg – €850 or €2.65/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 260kg – €635 or €2.44/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 350kg – €850 or €2.42/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 290kg – €915 or €3.15/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 250kg – €785 or €3.14/kg;
  • Simmental bull: 390kg – €1,000 or €2.56/kg.

Raphoe Mart

More buyers were reported to be present around the ring of Raphoe Mart on Thursday last (September 6), which led to an improved trade.

Quality, in-spec cattle were reported to be the most popular with customers; forward lots also proved to be in demand. Again, plainer lots remained a difficult sell.

Heavy beef bullocks fetched €600-755 over, while store lots made €400-775 over. Heavier heifers traded for €500-980 along with their weight and lots which require further feeding sold for €350-690 over.

Looking at prices achieved on a €/kg basis, bulls sold for €2.00-2.70/kg, bullocks fetched €2.10-2.60kg and heifers traded at €2.10-3.10/kg.

In addition, fat cows made €690-1,615/head.

Ballinrobe Mart

A special continental bullock sale took place at Ballinrobe Mart on Wednesday last; a good trade was reported.

This 565kg Limousin bullock sold for €1,375 or €2.43/kg

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,100 or €2.24/kg;
  • Limousin: 350kg – €1,000 or €2.86/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 445kg – €1,005 or €2.26/kg.
These 518kg Charolais bullocks sold for €1,235 or €2.38/kg

A number of weanling bulls also passed through the Mayo-based venue. The top price in this category went to a Charolais bull weighing 345kg; he sold for €875 or €2.54/kg.

In the cow ring, a top price of €1,320 was paid for a Simmental cow weighing 635kg. A Limousin cow with a heifer calf made €1,320.