Farm Ireland

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Cattle marts: Tight supplies help the trade improve a little

Joe Healy

Numbers continue to tighten at the marts but the trade, if anything, has improved a little.

Continental stores and weanlings are making €2-2.20/kg, with choice lots or heifers being bought for breeding making up to and more than €2.50/kg. Suckler calf prices remain strong. Friesians for export are selling up to and over €150/hd. Good continental bull calves are making as high as €450.

Calved Friesian heifers sold for €950-1,260, with the second- to fourth-calved cows selling for €850-1,220 each at Kilkenny Mart. The Friesian bull calves made €80-250/hd. Continental bull calves were making €300-370, with the heifers selling for €100 less. Angus and Hereford bulls sold for €180-320. The heifers made €140-270 each.

Breeding-type heifers were the best sellers in a lively trade overall at their cattle sale on Thursday, which also included a special weanling sale. Heavy continental steers made €1.90-2/kg. Herefords sold for €1.70-1.74/kg, while heavy Friesians made up to €1.51/kg.

In the heifer ring, the heavy fleshy lots made €1.70-2.04/kg. Butcher heifers sold for €1.60-2/kg. Stores ranged from €1.50/kg for the Angus lots up to a range of €2-2.21/kg for the continental breeds which was also the range for the weanling heifers.

Prices for steers and heifers were up by €20/hd in Ennis Mart with both making €2-2.20/kg. A few top quality lots of continental steers weighing 380-405kg made up to €2.74/kg. The weanlings were more or less selling for the same as the store cattle. Dairy stock was steady and sold for €1,000-1,580, while trade for suckler cows was easier at a general run of €1,100-1,350.

The recent strong sales were maintained in Balla for the 1,010 cattle on offer. Nice store bullocks sold for €400-770 over, with the less fancy lots at €300-450 over. The pick of the heifers made €420-730 over. Suckler cows with a calf at foot commanded prices of €1,150-1,890/unit. Cull cows made €150-500 over, depending on quality. Weanling bulls sold for €350-625 over.

Wexford Mart reported that Friesian bull calves for export sold for €140-165. Stronger types made €180-300. Continental bulls sold for €250-450 with the heifers at €200-400. Hereford and Angus heifers made €140-217 each, while the bulls sold for €175-330. Beef bullock prices were €390-860 over the weight. Stores made €340-680 over. Butcher and factory heifers sold for €330-600, while the stores made €200-640 over.

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Top class bulls over 600kg made €580-870 over the weight at Raphoe Mart. Beef bullocks sold for €515-745 over. Store bullocks ran at €485-730 over and beef heifers sold for €380-790 over.

Dowra Mart had 420 cattle on offer, with another strong trade from both farmers and exporters. Store heifers made €300-600 over, while a few choice lots for breeding made €600-800 over. Store bullocks sold for €400-700 over, while some heavy bull weanlings made up to €800 with the weight.

At Maam Cross, the in-calf springers sold for €980-1,120. Cows with a calf at foot made €1,125-1,890.Store heifers sold for €2.02-2.25/kg, while the bullocks made €2.15-2.45/kg.

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