‘The trade was improved this week from the last sale of 2020’

It was a quieter week than usual for Ballyjamesduff Mart at the beginning of 2021, as only one sale was held on Tuesday (January 5) consisting of slightly under 200 head of cattle.

AgriLand spoke with John Tevlin, the mart’s manager, to get his view on how cattle were selling during the first week of the new year.

Commenting on the number of buyers, John explained: “Obviously this week we are back to the online trading only. We were glad to see our Northern customers returning this year.

“I know they were nervous and concerned before Christmas about any change in the regime of exporting due to Brexit, but thankfully they are still free to move cattle comfortably.

I think some of our buyers this week were probably experiencing a bit of cabin fever and, even though it was online, they were just glad to be able to purchase cattle again.

“The cull cow trade was much more improved and we actually had plenty of customers commenting on how dear the cows were. I think there was that bit more of a want from buyers for cull cows.

“The stronger and more forward type store cattle seemed to be a similar enough trade to what was being paid before Christmas but the lighter store cattle would have been a better trade this week.

“I think going forward for the next few weeks the sales will be smaller, because with the Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions I don’t think too many farmers will want to move until the number of cases drop.”

Prices

There was a mix of cattle on offer last Tuesday. Beginning with the in-calf suckler cows, these females sold up to €1,500/head. Meanwhile, in the suckler calf ring, Herefords sold up to €380/head, while Angus calves were selling at €230-310/head.

Speaking on prices for bullocks and heifers, John stated: “Store bullocks were selling up to €2.82/kg, with heavy store heifers selling reached similar highs. The lighter store heifers were peaking at over €3.00/kg.”

Sample bullock prices:

  • Charolais: 420kg – €950 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 420kg – €950 or €2.26/kg;
  • Friesian: 540kg – €940 or €1.74/kg;
  • Charolais: 600kg – €1,360 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 750kg – €1,710 or €2.28/kg.

Sample heifer prices:

  • Charolais: 340kg – €880 or €2.58/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €950 or €2.75/kg;
  • Limousin: 410kg – €920 or €2.24/kg.

Sample bull weanling prices:

  • Limousin: 280kg – €790 or €2.82/kg;
  • Limousin: 290kg – €790 or €2.72/kg;
  • Charolais: 340kg – €890 or €2.61/kg;
  • Charolais: 345kg – €880 or €2.55/kg;
  • Charolais: 380kg – €960 or €2.52/kg.

Sample dry cow prices:

  • Friesian: 680kg – €1,000 or €1.47/kg;
  • Limousin: 700kg – €1,390 or €1.98/kg;
  • Hereford: 700kg – €1,190 or €1.70/kg;
  • Charolais: 760kg – €1,500 or €1.97/kg.