Marts: More woe as trade keeps ploughing downwards

These 374Kg Holstein Freisian heifers (born March 2018) made €655/hd at Carnew Marke. Photo Roger Jones.
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

Despite reports of some positivity in the sale for better-quality stores, the trade for bullocks and heifers overall continues to plough downwards.

When you take the 600kg+ bullock out of the picture, the average prices per kg for the 300-399kg, 400-499kg and 500-599kg weight divisions are converging.

20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart
Lot Number 26
Weight 450KG
DoB 17/8/18
Breed CH
Sex HEIFER
Price €990
Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 26 Weight 450KG DoB 17/8/18 Breed CH Sex HEIFER Price €990 Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 521 Weight 368Kg DoB 4/11/18 Breed CHX Sex MaLE Price €920 Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 26 Weight 450KG DoB 17/8/18 Breed CH Sex HEIFER Price €990 Photo Brian Farrell

Last week the 300-399kg bullock averaged an unchanged €1.87/kg; the 400-499kg bullock gained 1c/kg to €1.89/kg, while the 500-599kg bullock was back 4c/kg to €1.85/kg.

This time last year, mart overall averages for your 300-599kg bullock ran from €1.81-1.92/kg; in 2017 the figures were €2.08-2.18/kg; in 2016 they were €2.01-2.10/kg.

20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart
Lot Number 525
Weight 332Kg
DoB 8/5/18
Breed CHX
Sex Bull
Price €750
Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 525 Weight 332Kg DoB 8/5/18 Breed CHX Sex Bull Price €750 Photo Brian Farrell

What is the reason for this tightening of mart averages?

Despite the relatively good weather and an abundance of grass and winter fodder, there is a real feeling of apprehension around, fuelled by uncertainty about how many store cattle are in the system due to the expansion of the dairy herd. And by Brexit.

20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart
Lot Number 25
Weight 464Kg
DoB10/7/18
Breed CH
Sex heifer
Price €1050
Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 25 Weight 464Kg DoB10/7/18 Breed CH Sex heifer Price €1050 Photo Brian Farrell

Yet the current squeeze on store mart prices is coming from the top down as mart and factory returns for beef get continually hammered.

Last week the overall average price of your 600kg+ bullock fell 4c/kg to €1.77/kg. That's back 11c/kg on this time last year and a whopping 27c/kg or €162/hd less than 2017.

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So those buying are operating very cautiously.

On the heifer side last week, despite some stronger prices among better-quality lots, the figures show that prices for these better animals were 1-5c/kg less than the previous week at €2.26/kg. This pushed the overall price of the 350-399kg heifer back by 2c/kg to €1.94/kg, while your 400-499kg heifer finished the week at €1.95/kg, also 2c/kg down.

20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart
Lot Number 211
Weight DoB 29/6/19
Breed CHX
Sex Bull
Price €600
Photo Brian Farrell
20/7/2019 Carrigallen Mart Lot Number 211 Weight DoB 29/6/19 Breed CHX Sex Bull Price €600 Photo Brian Farrell

There was some positive movement as both weanling bulls and heifers saw their prices improve: 300-399kg bulls rose 11c/kg on average to €2.20/kg, helped by a 12c/kg increase for the better-conformation animal to €2.59/kg.

The 400-600kg bull also went up by 13c/kg to €2.20/kg, with the better types up 23c/kg to €2.63/kg.

Limousin Cow weight 712Kg DOB Age 12/01/16. Made €1320. Photo Roger Jones.
Limousin Cow weight 712Kg DOB Age 12/01/16. Made €1320. Photo Roger Jones.
Blonde Aquitaine Cross cow weight 860Kg DOB Age18/10/11 Made €1560 . Photo Roger Jones.
2 Limousin hfr weight 335 Kg DOB 27/01/17 Made €650 . Photo Roger Jones.
Charolais Hef Weight 672Kg DOB 14/06/17. Made €1150. Photo Roger Jones.

The 300-399kg weanling heifer improved by 15c/kg on average to €2.36/kg, with the better types again the main drivers. The 3c/kg rise for the 400-550kg heifer was led by a 13c/kg rise in the price of the lesser animal to €2.35/kg.

 

Belgian BlueHfr weight 564 Kg. DOB 27/06/17. Made €1115. Photo Roger Jones.
Belgian BlueHfr weight 564 Kg. DOB 27/06/17. Made €1115. Photo Roger Jones.

In the know...

Dowra

There was a good entry given the time of year. "Trade was surprisingly reasonable despite all the negativity," said Patsy Smith. Weanling bulls up to 400kg sold for €1.70-2.80/kg, with heavier lots making €1.60-2.40/kg. Weanling heifers under 300kg sold from €1.70-2.85/kg. Store heifers from 400-500kg made €1.90-2.60/kg, with the best of the heavier heifers seeing €2.40/kg. The tops of the cull cows sold for €1.40-1.85/kg, with feeder types making €1.20-1.85/kg.

3 Belgian Blue Hfr Weight 532Kg DOB 21/06/17. Made €1005. Photo Roger Jones.
3 Belgian Blue Hfr Weight 532Kg DOB 21/06/17. Made €1005. Photo Roger Jones.

Tullow

There was an optimistic edge to the trade despite the difficulties with factory prices. Beef and forward Friesian and Angus bullocks sold from €580-900 with the €1/kg. Continental stores sold from €2.10-2.40/kg, with lighter plainer Friesian and Anguses making €1.75-2.05/kg. Trade for heifers was steady, with beef types selling from €550-880 with the €1/kg. Lighter store heifers made €2.00-2.35/kg. The large entry of cull cows saw plainer lighter culls making €100 with the weight, while the best of the heavy continentals pushed on to €1.80-1.95/kg.

Balla

6 Limousin/Charolais cross. Weight 292Kg . Dob app 12/07/17. Made €670. Photo Roger Jones.
6 Limousin/Charolais cross. Weight 292Kg . Dob app 12/07/17. Made €670. Photo Roger Jones.
Limousin Bull weight 850 Kg dob 20/03/16. Made €1370. Photo Roger Jones.
Limousin Bull weight 850 Kg dob 20/03/16. Made €1370. Photo Roger Jones.

There was also a good turnout here with strong cattle in demand. The lighter better-conformation store also performed well but plainer lots found the going tough. Bullocks from 300-400kg averaged €2.08/kg, with a 380kg Limousin the top performer on €2.71/kg; 400-500kg bullocks averaged €2.14 to a top of €2.96/kg. Heavier bullocks averaged €1.90/kg. On the heifer side the 400-500kg animal averaged €2.13/kg to a top of €3.29/kg, lighter heifers averaged €2.20/kg with 500kg+ averaging €2.02/kg. The small show of weanlings saw those under 350kg average €2.42/kg, with heavier bulls averaging €2.23/kg to a top of €2.45/kg.

Macroom

The sheets showed dry cows as selling from €150 under the €1/kg to €340 over, meaning the good one sold from €1.30-1.45/kg. Hereford and Angus bullocks made €240-465 with the €1/kg. Samples included three 505kg Herefords getting the nod at €970/hd, with six other 450kg Herefords seeing the hammer at €890/hd. Samples among the coloured stores saw six 390 Aubrac bullocks making €815/hd, with two 455kg Charolais at €930. On the heifer side, a 410kg and 455kg Piedmontese made €920 and €980 respectively, while a 365kg Limousin kicked on to €850.

Simmental Cow weight 850 Kg DOB 03/03/15. Made €1540. Photo Roger Jones.
Simmental Cow weight 850 Kg DOB 03/03/15. Made €1540. Photo Roger Jones.

Kilrush

Numbers were tighter here, with trade staying steady. On the bullock side, two 370kg Limousins sold for €2.20/kg, with a single 460kg Limousin hitting €2.38/kg. Various lots of 470-530kg Friesians averaged €155-1.70/kg. The best of the Hereford heifers saw averages from €1.80/kg to nearly €2/kg. Samples included 465kgs at €1.87/kg, 430kgs at €1.82/kg, with a single at 425kg setting the bar at €1.97/kg. Best of the cull cows was a 675kg Charolais at €1.53/kg.

Kanturk

It was also a case of small numbers here with demand keeping prices steady for the better one. Looking down the sheets on the bullock side how do you decide which is the better bet? Two 507kg Angus at €900/hd, three 460kg Herefords at €855/hd, four 410kg Limousins at €795/kg or two 425kg Shorthorns at €770/hd? With the possible exception of the two Angus who could be gone by Christmas, all the rest will see you into next year and the post-Brexit beef world.

Carnew

Numbers here were increased as beef and forward store bullocks sold from €580-880 over the €1/kg, while continental stores sold from €430-780 with the €1/kg. Beef heifers made €530-820 over the €1/kg, with store heifers selling from €250-730 over their weight. Weanling bulls sold from €370-640 over the weight, with Friesian bulls making €120-480 over.

Continental bull calves sold from €280/hd to €470/hd, with Friesians making €45-180/hd. Hereford and Angus bull calves sold from €130-320/hd.

Indo Farming


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