Mart trade: Small numbers with prices determined by quality

Mart managers across the country have noted the number of cattle presented for sale is still on the low side – with prices very much dependent on quality.

The pressure that is being applied by factories is having an impact on the mart trade, and it is impossible to predict what road the trade will take when we move into the autumn period.

Where quality weanlings have been presented for sale, these have achieved high prices. Plainer-quality lots are back hovering around the €2.00/kg mark, with dairy-origin weanlings further back.

In addition, steer and heifer prices are dependent on quality, with light store types proving to be the most popular among buyers.

Carnew Mart

Some 812 cattle went under the hammer in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Saturday last, July 20. David Quinn, the mart manager, said that heavy bulls remained a difficult trade.

Beef and forward store bullocks made €580-880 along with their weight. Continental store bullocks made €430-780 over, while Friesian bulls sold for €120-480 along with their weight. In addition, weanling bulls made €370-640 over.

Looking at the heifer trade, beef lots made €530-820 over and store heifers fetched €250-710 over. In addition, beef cows fetched €310-730 over and store cows made €50 under the weight and €380 over.

Sample calf prices:
  • Continental bulls: €280-470/head;
  • Continental heifers: €130-360/head;
  • Friesian bulls: €45-180/head;
  • Hereford/Angus bulls: €130-320/head;
  • Hereford/Angus heifers: €80-270/head.

Headford Mart

Headford Mart held its weekly cattle sale on Saturday last, July 20. On the day, bullock prices ranged from €100 to €715 over or from €1.17/kg to €2.76/kg, according to the mart’s manager Joe Wynne.

A Limousin bullock weighing 565kg achieved the top price of €1,280 or €2.27/kg. Looking at the top price on a €/kg basis, this went to a Charolais bullock weighing 310kg; he sold for €855 or €2.76/kg.

In the heifer ring, these lots made €250-640 along with the weight or €1.64-2.72/kg. Again, a Limousin heifer achieved a top price of €1,180 (€2.19/kg); she weighed 540kg. Furthermore, €2.72/kg (€910) was paid for a Limousin heifer weighing 335kg.

Cull cows were reported to sell for up to €1,250/head.

Castlerea Mart

Prices were reported to hold firm at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday last, June 18. According to the mart’s manager, Brendan Egan, quality cattle made some “fancy” prices on the day.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 355kg – €865 or €2.43/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 420kg – €1,025 or €2.44/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus heifer: 485kg – €1,100 or €2.26/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 430kg – €1,080 or €2.51/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 515kg – €1,250 or €2.42/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 675kg – €1,450 or €2.14/kg.

Furthermore, cows with calves at foot made €1,000-1,910/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows also went under the hammer at the Roscommon-based venue.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 715kg – €1,460 or €2.04/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 615kg – €1,005 or €1.63/kg;
  • Charolais: 785kg – €1,450 or €1.84/kg;
  • Limousin: 690kg – €1,245 or €1.80/kg.

Moving to the calf ring, calves made from €150/head to €330/head, while runners made €300-690/head.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Limousin heifer: 390kg – €1,085 or €2.78/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 290kg – €800 or €2.75/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 330kg – €910 or €2.75/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 365kg – €1,030 or €2.82/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (July 18) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a ”good show” of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

In some cases, quality stores were reported to sell for up to €2.50/kg, while forward heifers made up to €840 over the weight. However, plainer types were a more difficult trade.

Store bullocks made €555-650 along with the weight. On the heifer front, beef lots went under the hammer for €500-720 over and store heifers sold at €350-840 along with their weight.

In addition, dry cows sold for €555-1,730/head.