Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

€2/kg average for all stock at Kilkenny mart

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Exceptionally strong demand for cattle drove average prices for both heifers and bullocks above €2/kg last week.

Mart manager Michael Lynch said he believed it was the first time ever for the average price in both categories to breach the €2/kg barrier.

Prices for bullocks over 600kg ranged from €500-825 over the weight, while 500-600kg bullocks made €460-705 over and those under 500kg sold for €300-645 over.

In the heifer ring, beef heifers made €430-720 over, butchers' heifers sold for €385-600 over and store heifers achieved €350-525 over.

The strong trade follows the mart's weanling show and sale, where the trade was described as "electric".

The top price of €1,080 -- or €3.48/kg -- was paid for a 310kg Belgian Blue bull weanling sold by Eamon Sheehan, from Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny, to TLT Exporters.

The average price for bull weanlings was €2.30/kg and €2.25/kg for heifer weanlings. Show-type heifer weanlings made up to €2.70/kg.

The prize for best Continental male weanling went to a 620kg Charolais bull owned by Michael Johnson, from Templemore, Co Tipperary, and subsequently sold for €1,340.

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Helena Fitzgerald, from Piltown, Co Kilkenny, took the best Continental autumn-born weanling heifer prize for her 460kg Charolais. The heifer went through the ring and was sold for €1,170.

However, the day really belonged to the Comerford brothers, from Castlewarren, Co Kilkenny, who swept the boards with their Charolais stock.


John Comerford won the best three Continental heifers and bulls. The group of heifers weighed 443kg each and sold for €1,000/hd, while the bulls weighed 465kg and made €1,040/hd.

John's brother Christy blew the opposition out of the water by taking the best spring heifer, best spring bull, best group of spring bulls and best group of spring heifers. The best heifer weighed 450kg and sold for €1,200, while the winning 435kg bull made €1,000. The group of heifers weighed 460kg each and sold for €1,045/hd, while the group of 440kg bulls sold for €1,300/hd.

"There was an extremely high demand for all weanlings, with exporters very active at the ringside," said Mr Lynch. "But the farmers were well able to compete with them."

"Most of the E grades and U+ animals went to exporters, while the rest met a strong trade from farmers," he added.

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