Beef bullocks ¤850 over in booming trade

Cattle Marts

Joe Healy

The cattle trade just continues to go from strength to strength at the marts around the country. Almost all marts reported an increase in prices across all categories on top of the already vibrant trade.

Beef bullocks are making €2-2.25/kg or as high as €850 over the weight. Light stores made up to €2.57/kg. Continental bull and heifer calves continue to make up to €400 each. Suckler cows are generally selling for €1,000-1,400.

Early indications are positive for the weanling trade, with very strong farmer interest. The solid beef returns are resulting in the farmer willing and able to pay between €2.20-2.50 for the lots under 300kg at Ennis Mart, while heavier types made €2.00-2.30. Good Belgian Blue weanlings sold for €2.30-2.70/kg. Exporters only bought about 10pc of the heifers but again lively farmer activity meant that the general price run ranged from €2-2.25/kg.

Bigger and better was the theme of the cattle sale at Kilkenny Mart, with one of the features being a price of €1.88/kg for a cull cow. The best of the Friesian culls made up to €1.74/kg and back to €1.13/kg.

Heavy steers made from €2.00-2.24/kg. Forward stores were selling for €2.00-2.10/kg, Friesian and Hereford steers sold for up to €1.72/kg. Lighter continental stores made from €2.10-2.57/kg, with €900 paid for three Charolais bullocks weighing 350kg.

The average price overall at Balla Mart was up €261/hd when compared to the corresponding day last year. Average prices for bullocks and heifers were €2.09/kg and €2.13/kg respectively, with weanling bulls averaging €2.22/kg. The range for the heavier weanling bulls was from €1.80-2.09, while the lighter lots made €1.94-2.59/kg.

Tullow had 550 cattle on offer last Saturday, with prices for beef cattle up by €10-15/hd to €520-850 over the weight. Well-fleshed heifers made €480-800 over. Store bullocks and heifers made €350-600 over the €/kg. Weanling bulls made €250-650 over, while cull cows sold from €250-650 with the €/kg.

Ballinakill also reported an improvement in trade for the 400 animals at their sale. Beef bullocks sold for €1.80-2.20/kg. Forward stores made €1.80-2.40/kg, while the lighter stores and weanling bulls made €1.70-2.20/kg.

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In the south east, prices were up by €20-30/hd. Well-fleshed steers sold for €395-760 over at Enniscorthy Mart, while stores sold for €300-680 over their weight and store heifers made €275-610 over. Beef and butcher types made €350-650 with the weight.

Dry cows sold for €280-325 over at Ballymote Mart. Bullocks made from €350-500 over the weight, with heifers making €300-555 over. Weanling bulls sold from €300- 450 over.

The best of the bulls over 600kg sold for €550-900 over the weight in Raphoe. Beef bullocks made €635-715 over, while heifers made €480-780 over the €/kg. Store heifers sold for €300-650 with the weight.

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