Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Cattle marts: Buyer competition drives up store prices by €40/hd

Joe Healy

The mart trade for all types of cattle remains extremely strong, helped by factory agents who are active for stock fit for slaughter. Competition between farmers from Northern Ireland and local farmers resulted in many marts reporting store prices increasing by up to €40/hd, to prices of €2-2.60/kg.

Calf prices are firm, with strong Friesian bulls making up to €250/hd and lighter types for export selling for €100-140 in most cases.

The trade for dairy cows has eased slightly but suckler cows with a calf at foot continue to be in demand.

A clearance sale of mainly spring-calved Limousin-cross suckler cows, varying in age and with Belgian Blue calves at foot, averaged more than €2,000 at Ennis Mart.

Dairy cows sold for €1,000-1,350/hd. Friesian calves for export made €90-130/hd, while the stronger Friesians sold for €150-200/hd.

The general run for Continental bull calves was around the €400/hd mark but the top price paid was €530/hd. Top for the heifers was €460/hd, with the average closer to €300/hd. Hereford bull calves sold for €250-350, while the heifers sold for €180-260 each.

Heavy weanling bulls made €1.90-2/kg, the 300-350kg bulls made €2-2.50/kg, heifer weanlings sold for €2-2.20/kg, good fat cull cows made €2/kg, while feeding cows sold for €1.45-1.70/kg. Beef bullocks made €1.90-2/kg and stores sold for €2-2.30/kg, while plainer types made €1.70-1.80/kg. Store heifers sold for €2-2.15/kg, while beefy heifers made €2/kg.


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Kilkenny had a smaller sale than usual, with 920 cattle on offer. All categories of stock met a very brisk trade, especially store cattle, with prices up by €15-30/hd.

Forward and lighter type Continental store bullocks sold for €1.84-2.47/kg. The best price was €1,000 paid for nine Limousin steers weighing 405kg each. Friesians weighing 425kg made €1.54/kg.

Heavy beef bullocks sold for €1.80-2.14/kg, with €1,285 paid for 10 600kg Limousins. Stores under 400kg made as much as €2.60/kg, while light Friesian bullocks sold for €1.60/kg.

Good beef heifers sold for €1.70-2.04/kg, prices for Continental butcher types ran at €1.60-2.15/kg and stores made €2-2.54/kg.

Friesian cull cows ranged from €1.10-1.60/kg, or €80-380 over their weight, while continental cows made €1.40-1.75/kg, which reflected a price range of €250-625 over the €/kg.

Top class bulls over 600kg sold for €305-945 over the weight at Raphoe Mart. Beef bullocks sold for €555-765 over, while stores made €275-710 over the €/kg. Beef heifers sold for €330-715 over, store heifers made €240 over the weight, up to a top price of €875, and dry cows made €500-1,215 each.

Cattle prices rose by €30-40/hd for the 1,050 animals on offer at Wexford Farmers' Mart this week. Beef bullocks made €400-800 over the €/kg, while stores sold for €370-660 over. Store heifers made €300-580 over the weight and beef and butcher heifers sold for €300-600 over. Prices for cull cows were €150-600 over the weight.

With 350 calves for sale, continental bulls made €250-450 and heifers sold for €220-400. Friesian bull calves for shipping made €120-145 each, while stronger Friesians sold for €166-247. Hereford and Angus bulls made €160-320/hd and heifers €135-275 each.

Indo Farming