Mart trade: Weather slows momentum at the ringside

The recent spell of wet weather has slowed the positive momentum that was present at the ringside – but only just.

While mart managers have outlined that weather has had a negative impact in recent days, the trade is best described as steady.

Cows still remain in a good position, while both short-keep bullocks and heifers are a good trade; however, the trade for weanlings has eased in recent days.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 900 cattle went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday last, March 14. The trade was reported to be solid.

The mart’s auctioneer George Candler said: “Our friends across the water are causing a lot of uncertainty to potential purchasers of cattle.

“A number of agents have suggested that many of their customers are waiting to see developments regarding Brexit.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 830kg – €1,700 or €2.05/kg;
  • Charolais: 610kg – €1,385 or €2.27/kg;
  • Limousin: 550kg – €1,320 or €2.40/kg;
  • Hereford: 540kg – €1,095 or €2.03/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 470kg – €940 or €2.00/kg;
  • Limousin: 380kg – €1,000 or €2.63/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 345kg – €740 or €2.14/kg;
  • Friesian: 320kg – €650 or €2.03/kg.

“The broken weather of the past two weeks is also curtailing some potential buyers from operating. Hopefully, with the promise of better weather next week it might encourage more activity.

“Even allowing for these problems, quality cattle met a solid selling trade with continentals attracting the most interest; cull cows saw prices stabilise and in cases increase.”

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 625kg – €1,280 or €2.05/kg;
  • Hereford: 580kg – €1,110 or €1.91/kg;
  • Limousin: 550kg – €1,280 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin: 525kg – €1,230 or €2.34/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 495kg – €1,080 or €2.18/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €1,000 or €2.63/kg;
  • Limousin: 270kg – €700 or €2.59/kg.

In the cow ring, Friesian cull cows traded for €0.90-1.40/kg, while continental types sold for €1.20-1.90/kg.

Castlerea Mart

The mart’s manager Brendan Egan outlined that prices on Thursday last were similar to the previous week’s sale.

“Bullocks, heifers and weanling rings reported good clearances with farmers, agents and exporters in attendance sourcing store.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 490kg – €1,340 or €2.73/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 470kg – €1,190 or €2.53/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 535kg – €1,265 or €2.36/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 460kg – €1,150 or €2.50/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 470kg – €1,080 or €2.29/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 600kg – €1,460 or €2.43/kg.

“Suck calves and runners also reported good clearances, with some exporters in attendance for the suck calves,” he added.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 240kg – €800 or €3.33/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 285kg – €825 or €2.89/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 285kg – €970 or €3.40/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 400kg – €1,200 or €3.00/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €1,000-1,710/head, while cows with calves at foot made €1,100-1,910/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows were also on offer.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Limousin: 730kg – €1,300 or €1.78/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 800kg – €1,435 or €1.79/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 610kg – €750 or €1.22/kg;
  • Hereford: 655kg – €845 or €1.29/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (March 14) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a larger show of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

“The trade was similar to last week with quality in-spec cattle in great demand and some Friesian plainer types harder to sell. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford types were selling from €1.80/kg to €2.20/kg.”

Bulls weighing over 600kg made €580-970 over and beef bullocks sold for €580-945 over, while store lots made €400-655 along with their weight.

On the heifer front, beef lots went under the hammer for €480-840 over and store heifers sold at €350-775 along with their weight.

In addition, dry cows sold for €500-1,600/head.