Farm Ireland

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Shippers and farmers battle it out for weanling supplies

Prices rise by up to €100/hd on last year on back of export demand

3/8/2017 Castlerea Mart
Lo number 26A
Weight 355K
DOB 24/4/17
Breed LMX
Sex Weanling Bull
Price €1020
Photo Brian Farrell
3/8/2017 Castlerea Mart Lo number 26A Weight 355K DOB 24/4/17 Breed LMX Sex Weanling Bull Price €1020 Photo Brian Farrell
The autumn weanling trade has a postive outlook

Martin Ryan

The weanling trade has opened with a bang over the last fortnight.

Intense competition between shippers and farmers has resulted in buoyant trade for both weanling bulls and heifers.

The best of the continental weanling bulls, E and U grade Belgian Blues, are generally going for the Italian trade, with between €3.50/kg and €3.70/kg being paid.

Farmers are the main buyers for heavy Limousin and Charolais bulls in the 480-550kg weight range, while exporters servicing the Turkish market and farmers are competing strongly for bulls in the 320-430kg weight bracket.

Entries at the marts showed an increase over the past week but are still back on normal levels. Mart managers attributed the lower turnout to strong grass supply on farms after an excellent growing season.

Seamus O'Keeffe of Kanturk Mart in Cork said there was "fierce demand" for the top-quality continental bulls.

"The prices were up by around €100/hd on last year, with the specialist home bull beef producers looking for the heavy weanlings and the exporters competing for the lighter weights," Mr O'Keeffe said.

"The serious bull beef producers are all looking for quality and shape in the animals at the top end of the market and generally going for the Belgian Blues and Limousin.

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"We had one customer looking for 180 head at last week's sale," he added.

Competition between bull beef producers was evident at the ringside for the top-quality animals.

However, Mr O'Keeffe said there was a cut-off point of €1,200/hd for everything but the very top stock.

Grass supplies

Shippers, such as Hallisseys and Purcells, have been very active for weanlings in the 300-350kg weight range.

However, strong on-farm grass supplies mean that numbers in this weight category have been well back on previous years.

Martin McNamara, manager of Clare Marts, reported that the trade was slightly easier for weanling bulls and heifers at last week's regular sale.

Bull weanlings under 300kg sold up to €3.54/kg, with lots over 300kg selling from €2.30/kg up to €3.05/kg. Prices for weanling heifers was similar to the bulls, he said.

At Ballinasloe Mart the average price for the weanling bulls was €2.38/kg, with the tops making up to €3.48/kg. The average weanling heifer price was €2.57/kg, while the top price was €3.21/kg

David White of Castleisland Mart said demand for weanlings remained strong but the full flush was still to emerge. He said good-quality bulls sold for €2.50-2.70/kg.

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