Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Cattle mart: Prices jump by €40/hd as thaw boosts turnout

Joe Healy

While the dangerous road conditions continued to impact on turnout early last week, marts reported strong numbers on offer later in the week as the thaw set in.

All marts said trade remained good, and some pointed out that prices for many categories were up by as much as €40/hd.

As farmers refused to sell to the factories for a mixture of reasons, including bad roads and inadequate prices, factory agents were extremely keen on any beefy animals on sale at the marts.

As a result, farmers concentrated on the stores and were also in a mood to compete with the exporter for most of the weanlings.

Quality cattle and beef heifers were up by €20-40/hd in Ballinakill last Saturday. Heavy steers made €320-550 over the €/kg. Forward store-types sold for €300-580 over with the lighter stores and made €250-500 with their weight.

Strong demand saw beef heifers sell for €280-460 over the weight, while stores made €200-425 over.

Prices for weanling bulls ran from €250-420 over, while heifers made €180-350 over.


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Balla Mart had a large sale with 1,320 cattle on offer. There was a good trade for all types of cattle, with bullocks and heifers up €20-40/hd.

The best of the store bullocks made €240-470 over the weight, while plainer lots made €200-370 over. Good heavy bullocks sold up to €605 over the weight.

In the heifer ring, the best of the stores made €200-650 over, while heavier heifers made up to €625 with the weight.

Bull weanlings made €280-870 over their weight, while the heifer weanlings sold for €150-460 over. Top price for the bull weanlings was €870 over for a 450kg Belgian Blue-cross. It sold for €1,320. There were 238 cows on offer, and a four year-old Charolais-cross cow and Charolais bull calf made €1,410.

The rest sold back to €1,100. The best of the springers made €1,200 with no calves at foot.

Dry cows were in great demand and the good quality lots made €100-325 over.

Top class bulls above 600kg sold for €345-585 over the weight at Raphoe. Beef bullocks made €505-790 over the weight, while the stores made €250-570 over. Prices for beef heifers sold for €350-650 over their weight.

Stores sold for €250-505 over the €/kg and dry cow prices ran at €600-1,270 each.


Due to the weather, Kilkenny reported one of their smallest sales of the year.

Those brave enough to battle the elements reaped the benefits as trade was said to be sharp, especially for the heavy, beefy-type steers. Heifers with cull cows also met a lively demand.

Continental bullocks over 600kg freely made €1.58-1.95/kg. Top for Friesian types was €1.58/kg, or €1,100 for a pair weighing 695kg.

Prices for the 400-600kg steers generally ranged from €1.60-1.95/kg. Lighter lots sold for €1.55-1.95/kg, or €200-320 over their weight.

Heavy beef heifers sold to a top of €1.97/kg. Others made €1.60-1.84/kg. Butcher types sold for €250-330 over the €/kg, or €1.50-1.70/kg.

Stores made €1.70-1.90/kg, good quality continental lots made €275-310 over and Friesian cull cows for further feeding sold for 87c/kg-€1/kg.

Trade was steady at Ballymote as light store bullocks made €180-300 over the weight. Heavier types made €250-430 over.

Heifer lots over 400kg sold for €200-405 over. Springing sucklers made €940-1,300/hd. Weanling bulls were in keen demand with lively trade from farmers and exporters. Light types made €220-410 over while heavier types sold for €250-430 over their weight.