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Thursday 17 August 2017

Mart trade: Export demand for young stock buoyant

Dutch and Spanish dealers driving 44pc seasonal rise in calf exports

Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer 4star. Breed BBX. Price €400. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer 4star. Breed BBX. Price €400. Photo Brian Farrell
A Belgian Blue.
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Live shippers were still active in the marts this week for calves as the buoyant export trade for young stock continued.

Calf exports to the first week of May were running 44pc ahead of last year, with exports up from 56,368 to 81,087. This is an increase of close to 25,000 head.

Carrigallen Mart Weight 470K.DOB 7/4/16. Sex1Bull Calf. Breed CHX. Price €1275. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart Weight 470K.DOB 7/4/16. Sex1Bull Calf. Breed CHX. Price €1275. Photo Brian Farrell

In Bandon Mart, the increased exporter activity has provided an outlet for the bigger numbers of calves on offer.

Mart manager Tom McCarthy said calf numbers at the mart were up around 10pc to the end of April, with close to 18,500 sold to date. That is an increase of close to 1,800 head.

Mr McCarthy said shippers were still giving between €80 and €150 for young Friesian calves, while stronger lots were making to a top of €250/hd in exceptional cases.

Farmer buyers were back in the market for Hereford and Angus cross calves off the dairy herd - with the higher prices for store cattle persuading many buyers to opt for younger stock.

Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer 4star. Breed BBX. Price €400. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer 4star. Breed BBX. Price €400. Photo Brian Farrell

These bull calves were six to eight weeks old and generally made between €300 and €400/hd. However, the top lots made €420-430/hd.

Shippers dominate the trade for good quality continental calves, with some fancy prices paid.


Carrigallen Mart. Sex Bull Suckler. Breed LMX. Price €600. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. Sex Bull Suckler. Breed LMX. Price €600. Photo Brian Farrell

Belgian Blue bulls were in particularly strong demand and made between €360 and €480/hd.

A significant lift in calf exports to the traditionally strong outlets of Spain and the Netherlands has underpinned the performance of the sector this year.

Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer. Bred BBX. Price € 450. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer. Bred BBX. Price € 450. Photo Brian Farrell

Calf shipments to the Netherlands jumped from just shy of 17,000 last year to hit over 30,000 by the first week in May. Calf sales to Spain rose from 15,000 to over 21,500.

In addition, Belgian buyers have taken almost 5,000 calves this year, compared to just 171 in 2016.

Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer. Bred BBX. Price € 450. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. DOB 11/5/17. Sex Heifer. Bred BBX. Price € 450. Photo Brian Farrell

Bord Bia said advertisements taken by the marketing body in a popular Dutch publication, De Kalverhouder, had helped highlight the health and quality attributes of Irish calves to veal producers.

Meanwhile, total cattle exports from Ireland have been helped this year by the resumption of the Turkish trade for weanlings, and stronger demand for stock in North Africa.

Carrigallen Mart. Weight 430K. DOB 14/10/16. Sex Bull Calf. Breed CH. Price €1250. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. Weight 430K. DOB 14/10/16. Sex Bull Calf. Breed CH. Price €1250. Photo Brian Farrell

Cattle exports to the first week of May are running 40pc ahead of last year, with the total numbers shipped increasing from almost 75,000 to 106,000.

Carrigallen Mart. Weight 410K. DOB 24/4/16. Sex Bull calf. Breed CHX. Price €1290. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. Weight 410K. DOB 24/4/16. Sex Bull calf. Breed CHX. Price €1290. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. Weight 410K. DOB 24/4/16. Sex Bull calf. Breed CHX. Price €1290. Photo Brian Farrell
Carrigallen Mart. Weight 410K. DOB 24/4/16. Sex Bull calf. Breed CHX. Price €1290. Photo Brian Farrell

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