Mart trade: Trade dips for plainer cattle in some marts

Mart managers have reported an easier trade for plainer-quality cattle in marts in recent days. But many have noted that there is still a good demand for the better-quality lots – especially short-keep, forward store types.

Weanling sales have continued across the country and exporters have been busy in some marts sourcing ‘shapy’ Belgian Blue bulls for the Italian market.

The cull cow trade is steady, but poor-quality, dairy-influenced stock are still the hardest sell.

Carnew Mart

An excellent trade was reported from Carnew Mart’s weanling sale on Thursday last, October 24. 630 weanlings and 20 sucklers were on offer on the day.

Exporters were reported to be in the market for good-quality Belgian Blue bulls – destined for the Italian market. A top price of €3.58/kg was achieved by a Belgian Blue bull weighing 332kg; he sold for €1,190.

Bulls weighing in excess of 400kg sold for €580-1,190 or €1.98-3.58/kg, while lots less than 400kg made €860-1,310 or €1.87-2.85/kg.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 282kg – €980 or €3.47/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 314kg – €840 or €2.67/kg;
  • Charolais: 475kg – €1,000 or €2.10/kg;
  • Charolais: 264kg – €708 or €2.68/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 486kg – €1,185 or €2.43/kg.

On the day, heifers weighing over 400kg made €750-1,120 or €1.85-2.67/kg and heifers under 400kg sold for €420-1,070 or €1.65-3.12/kg.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 342kg – €1,070 or €3.12/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 349kg – €725 or €2.07/kg;
  • Charolais: 331kg – €740 or €2.24/kg;
  • Charolais: 308kg – €730 or €2.37/kg;
  • Limousin: 372kg – €900 or €2.41/kg.

Ennis Mart

1,000 head of cattle went under the hammer in Ennis Mart on Thursday last. The bull trade was reported to be holding very well. However, while quality heifers sold well, plainer types were a slightly tougher trade.

Sample weanling bull prices:
  • Charolais: 277kg – €910 or €3.29/kg;
  • Charolais: 347kg – €1,135 or €3.27/kg;
  • Limousin: 315kg – €975 or €3.09/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 275kg – €860 or €3.13/kg.

Suckler-bred stock were also reported to sell well, with quality cow and calf pairing fetching up to €1,880/unit; however, no in-calf heifers were on offer that day.

In addition, the runner trade was best described as variable; quality heifer lots made €775/head and bulls topped out at €920/head.

Sample weanling heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 280kg – €870 or €3.11/kg;
  • Charolais: 350kg – €1,070 or €3.06/kg;
  • Limousin: 320kg – €900 or €2.01/kg;
  • Charolais: 375kg – €1,030 or €2.75/kg.

Castlerea Mart

A large number of cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday (October 25). The trade was reported to the previous week with a large number of heifers on offer.

Looking at the weanling trade, heifers were said to improve with better-quality lots on offer. The bull trade remained strong, but lesser-quality types were harder sold.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 415kg – €1,050 or €2.53/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,025 or €2.59/kg;
  • Charolais: 445kg – €1,145 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais: 580kg – €1,465 or €2.52/kg.

A good clearance rate was achieved in the cull cow ring and breeding stock were also reported to sell well.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 280kg – €770 or €2.75/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 290kg – €855 or €2.94/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 350kg – €1,130 or €3.22/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 355kg – €840 or €2.36/kg.

According to the mart’s Brendan Egan, cows with calves at foot made up to €1,940/unit and in-calf cows traded for €750-1,550/head.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 755kg – €1,490 or €1.97/kg;
  • Limousin: 725kg – €1,470 or €2.02/kg;
  • Limousin: 835kg – €1,625 or €1.94/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 890kg – €1,430 or €1.60/kg.

Moving to the calf/runner trade ring, continentals sold for €300-795/head.

Raphoe Mart

A large number of cattle were on offer in the ring of Raphoe Mart on Thursday last; the trade was reported as good, but the mart’s manager Anne Harkin noted that plainer cattle and non in-spec lots were harder sold.

Bulls weighing in excess of 600kg sold for €600-835 over, while heavy beef bullocks fetched €600-870 over and store lots made €400-895 over.

Heavier heifers traded for €500-875 along with their weight and lots which require further feeding sold for €350-745 over.

Looking at prices achieved on a €/kg basis, bulls sold for €2.00-2.50/kg, bullocks fetched €2.10-2.70/kg and heifers traded at €2.10-2.80/kg.

In addition, fat cows made €500-1,380/head.

Kilkenny Mart

A larger cattle sale, consisting of 1,350 animals, was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Thursday last, according to the mart’s auctioneer George Candler.

“Quality bullocks and heifers originating from the suckler herd were most in demand with prices ranging from €2.20/kg to €2.80/kg,” he said.

However, he noted that plainer cattle were a more difficult trade. Beef bullocks sold for €950-1,570/head and lots falling into the 500-600kg weight bracket made €700-1,350/head.

Lighter store bullocks (400-500kg) traded for €550-1,380/head, while bullocks weighing less than 400kg made €320-940/head.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 680kg – €1,570 or €2.31/kg;
  • Friesian: 600kg – €980 or €1.63/kg;
  • Limousin: 560kg – €1,350 or €2.41/kg;
  • Charolais: 540kg – €1,320 or €2.44/kg;
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,380 or €2.82/kg;
  • Charolais: 450kg – €1,150 or €2.56/kg;
  • Limousin: 370kg – €750 or €2.03/kg;
  • Hereford: 390kg – €940 or €2.41/kg.

Moving to the heifer trade, the heavier beef lots sold for €950-1,450/head, forward store heifers made €820-1,150/head and lighter store heifers fetched €380-1,115/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Simmental: 615kg – €1,400 or €2.28/kg;
  • Limousin: 510kg – €1,090 or €2.14/kg;
  • Limousin: 495kg – €1,130 or €2.28/kg;
  • Charolais: 405kg – €905 or €2.23/kg;
  • Charolais: 370kg – €720 or €1.95/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 340kg – €570 or €1.68/kg.

In addition, George highlighted that cull cows met a steady trade and Friesian cull cows made €0.70-1.55/kg and continental types fetched €1.20-2.20/kg.