Storms Ophelia and Brian drive numbers through cattle marts

Despite the recent stormy weather conditions, trade is reported to have “held up well” in marts across the country.

Mart managers have noted that the trade for quality cattle has been good. However, plainer cattle, particularly cattle of dairy origin, have met a more difficult trade.

Heifers and dry cows are reported to have achieved good clearances, with top quality weanlings proving popular.

Farmers, particularly those in areas affected by storms Ophelia and Brian and in areas where the inclement weather has taken its toll, have no choice but to market their cattle.

Ennis Mart

A “huge” sale took place in Ennis Mart on Thursday, October 19, with over 1,100 animals going under the hammer.

An excellent clearance rate was reported by the mart’s manager, Danny Moran.

He said: “Trade was brisk in all rings throughout the day with steers generally making €1.84/kg-2.68/kg.”

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 590kg – €1,450 – €2.46/kg;
  • Charolais: 620kg – €1,490 or €2.40/kg;
  • Hereford: 485kg – €1,150 or €2.37/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 650kg – €1,600 or €2.46/kg.

On the day, heifers met a lively trade. Heifers (350-500kg) sold for €1.75/kg-2.65/kg, while heavier types sold between €1.83/kg and €2.54/kg.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 575kg – €1,370 or €2.38/kg;
  • Charolais: 507kg – €1,290 or €2.54/kg;
  • Charolais: 580kg – €1,405 or €2.42/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 485kg – €1,075 or €2.65/kg.

260 cull cows also passed through the ring. According to Moran, more dairy breeds are becoming evident, with quality being the main driver of price. Quality continental cows sold for €1.54/kg-2.26/kg. Aged bulls fetched between €1.28/kg and €1.97/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Some 900 cattle were on offer at Castlerea Mart on Thursday last. Again, quality was the main driver of price with increased demand for heifers and dry cows.

According to the mart’s manager Brendan Egan, top quality weanlings met a strong trade, while there was renewed interest in suckler cows.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Charolais: 400kg – €970 or €2.42/kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,145 or €2.43/kg;
  • Simmental: 570kg – €1,240 or €2.17/kg;
  • Belgian Blue: 470kg – €1,075 or €2.28/kg.

In addition, cows with calves at foot traded at €910-1,970, in-calf cows made €700-1,500 and dry cows sold for an average price of €1.87/kg.

Sample wealing prices:
  • Limousin bull: 195kg – €665 or €3.41/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 258kg – €1,070 or €4.41/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 295kg – €940 or €3.18/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 330kg – €880 or €2.66/kg.

On the day, top quality lots of runners made up to €745.

Scariff Mart

A large clearance was achieved in Scariff Mart on Saturday last. Farmers and agents made their presence felt ringside and were the main drivers of price on the day.

According to the mart’s manager Danny Moran, light weanling bulls sold for €2.21/kg-3.20/kg, while bulls weighing 330kg sold for €2.30/kg. Bulls weighing over 330kg fetched €2.79/kg.

In the heifer ring, light heifers sold from €2.00/kg-2.90/kg, heifers weighing from 300-400kg sold from €1.90/kg-2.70/kg.

“Traditional bred bullocks sold for €1.70/kg-1.95/kg, while continental breeds sold up to €2.40/kg,” he said.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais bull: 290kg – €875 or €3.02/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 365kg – €885 or €2.42/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 250kg – €800 or €3.20/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 280kg – €720 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 305kg – €710 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 250kg – €725 or €2.90/kg.

Balla Mart

Some 900 cattle went under the hammer at Balla Mart, Co. Mayo, on Saturday last.

The mart’s Anthony Murphy said store bullocks sold for an average price of €2.20/kg and heavier lots (400-500kg) made €2.24/kg. Lots weighing over 500kg traded for an average price of €2.11/kg.

In relation to heifers, he said: “Lots weighing up to 400kg sold for an average price of €2.02/kg, 400-500kg heifers made €2.19/kg and 500kg+ lots traded at €2.08/kg.”

Sample weanling prices:
  • Limousin bull: 190kg – €570 or  €3.00/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 340kg – €1,100 or €3.24/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 445kg – €1,190 or €2.67/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 195kg – €565 or €2.90/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 330kg – €1,000 or €2.81/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 365kg – €1,025 or  €2.81/kg.

In addition, 200 cows passed through the ring of the Mayo-based venue on Saturday. Topping the in-calf section of the sale was a November 2011 born Limousin cow, that sold for €1,680. Overall, dry cows traded at €1.56/kg.

Macroom Mart

A smaller sale was reported by Macroom Mart’s manager John O’Mahony, with some 420 cattle going under the hammer.

Regardless of the small numbers, trade was reported as steady with quality lots of Hereford and Angus proving to be the most popular.

Dry cows started trading at €130 with the weight and made a top price of €415 with the weight. Topping these was a Friesian cow weighing 655kg; this cow sold for €1,070 or €1.63/kg.

Weanling bulls sold for €270-615 over, while the heifers on offer sold at €250-510 over.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais bulls: 355kg – €970 or €2.2.73/kg;
  • Charolais bulls: 270kg – €730 or €2.70/kg;
  • Charolais heifers: 305kg – €785 or €2.57/kg;
  • Charolais heifers: 295kg – €750 or €2.54/kg.

Continental steers sold for €315-675 over, while Angus and Hereford lots made €250-495 over.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “good” entry of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

She added that quality cattle were sought after, while plainer types remained difficult to sell.

Top-class bulls weighing over 600kg sold at €640-840 over, the mart manager said. Beef bullocks made €695-825 over and lighter stores made €2.20-2.75/kg.

Beef heifers made €565-945 over and store heifers traded at €350-735 over or €2.10-2.80/kg. Fat, well-fleshed cows traded for €600-2,040.