The mart trade for cattle witnessed further strengthening over the weekend, with northern and online buyers providing a great boost to the trade, in particular for heavier-type cattle.

Carnew Mart noted an increase in price of anywhere between €50-€100/head for both store and factory-type cattle.

This article gives an overview of three cattle sales which took place over the weekend – Carnew, Balla and Headford marts – and a sample of the prices and the trade seen at these sales.

Balla Mart

Balla Mart, Co. Mayo, hosted its weekly cattle sale on Saturday, May 7, with just over 800 lots on offer.

There was a ‘savage’ trade witnessed on the day with some quality beef cattle both heifers and bullocks reaching prices in excess of €3.15c/kg.

In particular, heavy bullocks and cows were described as ‘a mighty trade’ with online factory and northern-based buyers pushing prices and further adding to the demand.

Bullocks weighing 300-400kg averaged €2.68/kg with store bullocks 400kg-500kg averaged €2.82/kg.

Heavier bullocks weighing over 500kg averaged for the first time in the mart’s history an exceptional €3.05/kg with the top lots making from €3.10/kg to €3.58/kg.

Top bullock prices from Balla Mart:

  • 790kg Charolais bullock sold for €2,590 or €3.28/kg;
  • 670kg Charolais bullock sold for €2,400 or €3.58/kg.

There were nearly 300 heifers on offer at Balla Mart’s weekend sale and an improved trade was witnissed.

Nice-quality store animals met a good clearance with heifers up to 400 kg averaving €2.74/kg.

Heifers 400kg to 500kg averaged €2.84kg while over 500kg heifers averaged 2.94/kg.

Top heifer prices from Balla Mart:

  • 740kg Charolais heifer born May 2019 made €2,450 or €3.31/kg;
  • 680kg Simmental-cross heifer made €2,200.00 or €3.24/kg.

The third ring was in operation at Balla Mart for cows and, as usual, cow numbers remain large with 130 dry cows and 40 sucklers on offer.

Dry cow prices were up at Balla Mart due to the presence of some Northern Ireland and online buyers.

Top cow prices from Balla Mart:

  • 880kg Charolais 2006-born cow sold for €2,580 or €2.93/kg;
  • 690kg cow born May 2019 with a bull calf at foot that sold for €2,000.00.

The weanling sale took place on Saturday as the special weanling sales on Tuesday evenings have come to an end for the season.

Bull weanlings ranging from 200kg to 350kg averaged €2.92/kg with bull Weanlings 350kg to 450kg averaging €2.54/kg.

Headford Mart

A cracking trade was also seen at the weekly cattle sale at Headford Mart, Co. Galway.

The top price in the bullock ring went to a 720kg Charolais-cross bullock which made €2,080 or €2.89/kg and the best price per kg on the day was €4.56, secured by a quality weanling bull.

Sample bullock prices at Headford Mart:

  • 490kg Limousin-cross bullock sold for €1,600 or €3.67/kg;
  • 480kg Charolais-cross bullock sold for €1,540 or €3.21/kg;
  • 475kg Aberdeen Angus-cross bullock sold for €1,480 or €3.12/Kg.

Competition continued at the cull cow ring at Headford Mart with prices ranging from €850 for a 380kg Angus-cross cow up to €1,790 for 690kg Charolais-cross cow.

Two-thirds of the cows on offer made more than €1,300 and aged heifers sold to a tops of €2,170 or €3.08/kg for a 705kg Charolais heifer.

In terms of weight, cattle under 500kg averaged of €2.85/kg. Cattle from 500-600kg averaged €2.75/kg. 600-650kg cattle averaged €2.82/kg and cattle over 650kg ranged in price from from €2.20/kg through to €3.08/kg.

Carnew Mart (Friday and Saturday)

A total of 1,725 cattle went through Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, with a blazing trade throughout.

Yard manager Eugene Clune noted that cattle were up anywhere from €50-€100 a head for both store and factory cattle.

Some on the top prices from Carnew Mart were:

  • A group of seven Angus heifers bred off the dairy herd weighing 432kg selling for €1,360 or €3.15/kg.
  • An 870kg Charolais cow sold for €2,600 and a fat heifer sold for  €2500. Bullocks topped at 3.63/kg for a 650kg lm. Bulls on offer sold from €2.80/kg to €3.61/kg for the quality lots with most bulls making well over €3.00/kg.

Top cow prices from Carnew Mart:

  • 870kg Charolais cow: €2,600 or €2.99/kg;
  • 864kg Charolais cow: €2,200 or €2.55/kg;
  • 720kg Charolais cow: €2,100 or €2.92/kg;
  • 820kg Charolais cow: €2,300 or €2.80/kg;
  • 790kg Charolais cow: €2,330 or €2.95/kg.

Top heifer prices from Carnew Mart:

  • 840kg Charolais heifer: €2,510 or €2.99/kg;
  • 886kg Charolais heifer: €2,500 or €2.82/kg;
  • 820kg Charolais heifer: €2,420 or €2.95/kg;
  • 714kg Charolais heifer: €2,170 or €3.03/kg;
  • 580kg Charolais heifer: €1,870 or €3.22/kg.

Top bullock prices from Carnew Mart:

  • 700kg Charolais bullock: €2,480 or €3.54/kg;
  • 668kg Limousin-cross bullock: €2,320 or €3.47/kg;
  • 650kg Limousin-cross bullock: €2,360 or €3.63/kg;
  • 636kg Limousin bullock: €2,000 or €3.14/kg;
  • 603kg Limousin bullock: €1,930 or €3.20/kg.

Cows with calves at foot sold from €1,750 to €2,380 with most teams breaking €2,000 mark while springing cows sold from €1,200 for the lighter types to €1,600 for the heavier cows.

Shipping calves sold from €60-€120 while Hereford and Angus bulls sold from €150 to €260. Hereford and Angus heifer calves sold from €100 to €220 while continental calves sold from €190 to €400.