Farm Ireland

Friday 25 May 2018

Bull weanling trade is upwardly mobile

Joe Healy

Given what is happening at factory level, it is surprising that the biggest positive movement at the marts last week was in bull weanling prices. This was especially the case for the lesser quality types, which recorded increases of between 25-50c/kg according to Ringside data.

Granted, it is difficult to compare the previous week as marts were small and just swinging back into action after the Christmas break. But for the moment, when it comes to bulls, we will be forgiven for making the most of any chink of positive news.

In any event all the bulls, apart from the top 25pc in the 300-400kg bracket, showed upward movement with the general run up by 10-20c/kg. The single section going the opposite way were back by an average of 6c/kg in a price range of €2.10-2.50/kg.

Lighter lots under 300kg were selling for €2.25-2.75/kg. Despite the significant increase, the poorer types were still moving in a range from €1.75-1.95/kg. The better weanling heifers sold for €2.30-2.80/kg while €1.80-2.00 was the run for the poorer lots.

Steers had a mixed week with the top quality types in all weight brackets enjoying a good trade. A range of €2.00-2.50/kg bought most of the nicer lots under 500kg with €2.10-2.55/kg being paid for the heavier lots. The bottom quarter were selling for €1.30-1.65/kg.

The heifer trade was sluggish. Similar to the steers, the nicer lots were generally making from €2.00-2.50/kg. Lesser types made from €1.65-1.90/kg.

With the calving season about to start in earnest, Friesian bull calves are selling between €70-200/hd.

While some freshly calved dairy heifers have made up to €2,000 each, a lot of the dairy cows and heifers are selling in the €1,000-1,500 range. Sucklers due to calve shortly were making from €1,100-1,700.

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The cattle trade was mixed at Dowra Mart last Saturday with the heifer weanlings under 400kg generally making from €1.60-2.80/kg with a few of the fancy light lots getting up to €3.00/kg.

Store heifers over 400kg made from €1.80-2.80/kg. Weanling bulls under 400kg were selling for €1.50-2.70/kg. A few top lots sold up to €3.00/kg. Bulls over 400kg proved harder sold at €1.90-2.30/kg.


Balla Mart had 500 lots on offer. The trade remained pretty firm with the heavy bullocks making from €400-800 with their weight or €1.74-2.85/kg. Light heifers under 400kg were selling for €1.30-2.88/kg. Heavy heifers made from €1.71-2.77/kg.

A four-year-old second-calf Aberdeen Angus crossbred cow with her time up to AI topped the sucklers at €1,530. The best cull cow was an eight-year-old 980kg. Light bull weanlings sold for €500-600 with the €/kg reflecting €2.14-2.85/kg.

A large entry of 850 cattle at Carnew Mart met with a very strong selling trade especially for the quality store bullocks and heifers, and weanling bulls. The latter made from €450-1,000 over their weight. Weanling heifers traded at €350-750 over. Fleshed heifers fit for slaughter were selling for €520-850 with the €/kg.

A small turnout of stock in Mountbellew saw the bullocks and heifers sell for €300-450 with their weight, while Ballinakill reported a smaller sale with a better trade all round. The small fancy stores were in great demand with a 400kg store bullock making €1,000 and a 420kg heifer selling for €1,000.

Heavy bullocks between 700-900kg were selling for €1.85-2.30/kg. The cull cows were making from €1.10-1.70/kg.

Top class bulls over 600kg up in Raphoe were making from €535-945 over the weight. Stores made from €350-750 over. Beef heifers sold for €380-935 with the weight. Store heifers traded at €355-950 over their weight.

The 500-650kg continental steers in Tuam were selling for €1.93-2.24/kg. Lighter types sold for €2.05-2.40/kg. Weanling bulls of 300-400kg made from €2.14-2.63/kg. Lighter bulls moved at €1.88-2.71/kg. Heifers under 300kg made from €2.00-2.56/kg.

Continental steers of 400-530kg at Mayo/Sligo Mart were selling for €2.10-2.59/kg with the quality bull weanlings making from €2.40-3.09/kg. Strong heifer weanlings over 300kg made from €2.50-2.80/kg.

Over in Maam Cross, bullocks sold for €1.95-2.45/kg. Heifers made from €1.60-2.85/kg. Weanling prices ranged from €1.60-3.15/kg. Cull cows ranged from €1.25-1.85/kg. Cows with a calf at foot sold for €800-1,670/unit.

Irish Independent