Plain cattle continue to meet a difficult trade as sale sizes begin to increase

There was a big sale in Balla Mart on Saturday with over 1,000 lots of cattle on offer, according to the Mart’s Anthony Murphy.

Murphy said there was a good trade for strong heavy steers, as more buyers were present around the ring looking for these lots.

Prices for the heavy steers were up compared to last week, he said, while lighter cattle met with a similar trade.

Store steers weighing in the region of 450kg sold from €600-800 or €1.30-2.95/kg, while the heavier lots of offer averaged €1.47-2.77c/kg.

Sample steer prices:
  • Belgian Blue: 290kg – €800 or €2.76/kg
  • Limousin: 390kg – €1,045 or €2.68/kg
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,270 or €2.59/kg
  • Limousin: 695kg – €1,560 or €2.24/kg
  • Charolais: 760kg – €1,670 or €2.20/kg

Looking at the heifers, Murphy said there was some excellent quality cattle on offer, with store heifer prices ranging from €700-900 over or €1.43-3.18c/kg.

While the best of the forward heifers, a 770kg Charolais heifer sold for €1,600 or €830 over the weight, the average price paid for these heifers was €1.54-2.47/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 290kg – €820 or €2.83/kg
  • Charolais: 360kg – €1,145 or €3.18/kg
  • Shorthorn: 480kg – €1,590 or €3.31/kg
  • Charolais: 770kg – €1,600 or €2.08/kg

Murphy also said there were 100 cows on offer on Saturday. The top price of €1,940 was paid for a five-year-old Limousin cow with a heifer calf at foot, while the dry cows on offer sold from €1.07-2.30/kg.

Kilkenny Mart

There was a bigger cattle sale in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Thursday according to the Mart’s Auctioneer George Candler, with over 900 cattle passing through the ring.

Candler said the trade for plain stock, especially the plain Friesian cattle was difficult but quality continental lots remained in short supply.

Forward steers weighing in excess of 600kg sold from €1.65-2.30/kg, while the lighter store lots on offer (400-500kg) made €1.80-2.65/kg or €350-720 over.

Sample steer prices:
  • Friesian: 720kg – €1,210 or €1.68/kg
  • Angus: 680kg – €1,300 or €1.91/kg
  • Angus: 590kg – €1,185 or €2.01/kg
  • Simmental: 560kg – €1,260 or €2.25/kg
  • Limousin: 390kg – €1,085 or €2.78/kg
  • Hereford: 365kg – €760 or €2.08/kg

In the heifer ring, beef heifers sold from €1.90-2.40/kg, forward stores made €2.00-2.60/kg while the lighter stores sold from €1.90-2.50/kg or €280-540 over.

The Auctioneer also said that cull cow numbers remained scare and the plain Friesian types sold from €0.75-1.50/kg while the better quality continental lots sold from €1.40-1.90/kg.

Ennis Mart

There was a full yard of steers, heifers and dry cows on offer in Ennis Mart on Saturday, according to the Mart’s Gerry Finnerty.

Finnerty said that farmers continued to drive the trade for lighter quality stores on Saturday, with light store heifers selling from €2.51-2.73/kg and store steers making €2.65-2.85/kg.

Heavier beef cattle were also actively sourced by factory agents, he said and these lots made good prices in comparison to the factory quotes for beef, with forward and beef heifers selling from €1.80-2.46/kg while similar type steers made €2.27-2.60/kg.

There was also a good selection of cull cows on offer and prices for theses lots ranged from €1.27-1.95/kg.

Sample cow prices:
  • Charolais: 470kg or €920 or €1.95/kg
  • Friesian: 490kg or €625 or €1.27/kg
  • Limousin: 555kg or €1,110 or €2/kg
  • Charolais: 695kg or €1,220 or €1.75/kg
  • Charolais: 605kg or €1,170 or €1.93/kg