Record breaking throughput of cattle at Carnew Mart

Carnew Mart hosted its final sales of the year for 2020 on Friday (December 18) and Saturday (December 19), with a sale of dry cows, bullocks and heifers.

AgriLand caught up with the mart’s manager, David Quinn, to ask his opinion on the final weekly trade and to get his thoughts on the unique year that was 2020.

Speaking on the concluding sales , David stated: “Numbers were very big at our final sale, usually coming into the last sale of the year lots on offer would have been generally small.

“We had 300 dry cows on Friday evening [December 18] and 670 head of stock on offer at Saturday’s sale [December 19].

“The trade was very strong in the dry cow ring. A top price of €1,720 or €2.02/kg was paid for an 850kg Limousin cow. The best quality continental cows were selling at €2.00/kg. Northern Ireland customers were really driving on the trade.

The general run of prices for beef continental cows would have been between €1.60-1.80/kg. Friesian beef cows sold for €1.25-1.40/kg.

“There was a high supply of Friesian store cows on offer and these met a very good feeder demand. These cows generally traded from €0.80/kg up to €1.10/kg for the poor quality females, as better quality sold from €1.15/kg rising to €1.30/kg.

At Saturday’s sale of bullocks and heifers, good quality and forward continental beef cattle sold for €2.20-2.42/kg, with plainer lots selling at €1.90-2.10/kg.

“Good continental stores, over 500kg, sold for €2.10-2.37/kg – with the Hereford and Angus-bred stores trading at €1.85-2.07/kg. Friesian-bred store bullocks sold from €1.40/kg up to €1.80/kg for the more forward types.”

Record breaking throughput of cattle

Despite the issues facing marts across the country during the year of 2020, David is able to see some positives from the events throughout the year.

He said: “It has been a very challenging year; obviously we had the change from the conventional selling method to the online selling method.

“Our numbers at the mart this year held up very well. We actually had a record level of throughput of cattle in the mart.

I have to say that the online system has really added a whole new dimension to the livestock marts and it has improved the service that marts can offer to both their seller and their buyers.

“I think the online method of selling is here to stay, even after the Covid-19 cases have eased off. I can see both ringside bidding and online bidding being the new normal in marts going forward,” David concluded.