Mart trade: Upward momentum continues for quality stock

The mart trade has continued its upward momentum in recent days. This is especially the case for the quality lots on offer.

Good grass growth and favourable weather conditions have continued in some parts and this is having a positive effect at the ringside.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the number of cattle presented for sale has increased. Mart managers have noted there has been an increased demand for weanling bulls which require further feeding.

In addition, mart managers reported a steady trade for cull cows, with some lots breaking the €2.00/kg mark.

Kilkenny Mart

A sale – consisting of 880 animals – was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Thursday last, according to the mart’s auctioneer, George Candler.

He said: “The trade is remarkably firm especially when you consider the uncertain climate we find ourselves in.

“Quality continentals are attracting the main interest in both the bullock and heifer ring. Aberdeen Angus bullocks ranged from €1.65/kg to €2.20/kg, with Friesian types at €1.50-1.80/kg.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 615kg – €1,280 or €2.08/kg;
  • Limousin: 490kg – €1,080 or €2.20/kg;
  • Hereford: 555kg – €1,095 or €1.97/kg;
  • Charolais: 450kg – €1,135 or €2.52/kg;
  • Limousin: 300kg – €805 or €2.68/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 370kg – €770 or €2.08/kg.

“Continental bullocks peaked at €2.60/kg, with heifers peaking at €2.55/kg; lighter types sold to €2.90/kg,” he added.

Sample steer prices:
  • Charolais: 650kg – €1,400 or €2.15/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 570kg – €1,180 or €2.07/kg;
  • Charolais: 625kg – €1,375 or €2.20/kg;
  • Limousin: 505kg – €1,215 or €2.41/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 475kg – €900 or €1.89/kg;
  • Limousin: 395kg – €1,020 or €2.58/kg.

A number of cull cows were also on offer and Friesian cows were reported to trade for €0.70-1.55/kg, while continental cows went under the hammer for €1.35-2.04/kg.

Carnew Mart

Some 1,072 cattle and 403 calves went under the hammer in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Saturday last (February 23).

David Quinn, the mart manager, said there was an excellent demand for all classes of cattle, with a strong trade leading to a full clearance.

“There was more exporter and farmer activity for quality weanlings, with prices hitting €3.33/kg for top-quality lots. In the calf ring there was a better trade for both Friesian and continental calves,” he explained.

Beef and factory-fit bullocks traded for €660-950 over, while continental store bullocks made €510-830 over; Friesian steers sold for €150-560 along with their weight.

In addition, weanling bulls were reported to sell in the region of €420-1,000 along with the weight.

Heifers were reported to trade well; stores made €350-850 over and beef lots traded for €550-870 along with their weight.

Beef cows fetched €300-610 over, while store cows made €50 under and €370 over the weight.

Sample calf prices:
  • Continental bulls: €220-430/head;
  • Continental heifers: €130-370/head;
  • Strong Friesian bulls: €70-140/head;
  • Younger Friesian bulls: €30-60/head.

Castlerea Mart

The trade was reported to be strong in Castlerea Mart on Thursday last, February 21.

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan said: “Larger numbers of stock were presented for sale, with a good attendance of farmers and agents active for all categories of stock.

“The forward store bullocks and heifers were a very lively trade, while the quality weanlings continue to increase in price.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 380kg – €975 or €2.56/kg;
  • Limousin: 430kg – €1,170 or €2.72/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 435kg – €1,490 or €3.42/kg;
  • Charolais: 530kg – €1,390 or €2.62/kg.

“The forward store bullocks and heifers were a very lively trade, while the quality weanlings continue to increase in price,” he added.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 290kg – €970 or €3.34/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 330kg – €1,075 or €3.25/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 275kg – €775 or €2.81/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 320kg – €1,060 or €3.31/kg.

“The cow trade remained firm, while the calf ring reported a better trade with better-quality lots on offer and an increased demand.”

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Charolais: 885kg – €1,490 or €1.68/kg;
  • Limousin: 790kg – €1,380 or €1.74/kg;
  • Limousin: 695kg – €1,485 or €2.13/kg;
  • Friesian: 490kg – €540 or €1.10/kg.

A number of cows with calves at foot were also on offer. These lots made €1,200-1,510/unit. Furthermore, springers sold from €900-1,250/head.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,245 or €2.54/kg;
  • Limousin: 475kg – €1,165 or €2.45/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 640kg – €1,385 or €2.16/kg;
  • Charolais: 740kg – €1,580 or €2.13/kg.

Along with the better-quality calves and increased demand, the number presented for sale also increased. Some sample prices are listed below.

Sample calf prices:
  • Angus heifer: €290;
  • Simmental bull: €290;
  • Limousin heifer: €295;
  • Friesian bull: €60;
  • Hereford heifer: €150.

Raphoe Mart

Plainer proved to be a more difficult trade at Raphoe Mart on Thursday last, February 21. However, quality cattle were reported to be in good demand.

The mart’s manager Anne Harkin also highlighted that good-quality weanlings sold up to and over the €3.00/kg mark.

Heavy bulls weighing over 600kg made €580-775 along with the weight, beef bullocks sold at €580-700 over and store bullocks made €350-730 over.

Beef heifers made €480-890 over and store heifers traded for €350-800 along with the weight. In addition, dry-cows cows traded for €600-1,520/head.