Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Cattle marts: Electric trade defies belief as prices up again

Joe Healy

Big improvements will be needed in factory prices later in the year to justify the current mart trade, say mart managers. So it is difficult to see where all the confidence at the ringside is coming from at the moment.

The trade for all cattle, but particularly the stores and weanlings, is actually improving on the already very strong prices. Up to €2.67/kg was paid for nine store bullocks at Roscommon Mart this week, with nine 540kg Charolais stores selling for €1,440 each.

The suck calf market also remains very strong.

At Ennis Mart, freshly calved Friesian heifers and young cows were making €1,400-1,700. Older freshly calved cows were selling for around €1,000/hd. Strong Friesian bull calves made €140-240, while lighter lots sold for €100-140. Store Continental bullocks and heifers were making €2/kg. Weanling heifers under 300kg made up to €2.20/kg and those over 300kg sold for €2.00-2.10/kg. U-grade bulls made up to €2.50/kg but, in general, bulls over 400kg made €1.85-2.05/kg, while 300-350kg bulls sold for €2.20-2.30/kg. Suckler cows with a calf at foot sold for €1,500-2,000/unit.

Ballinakill Mart had 500 cattle for sale, where heavy steers made €400-650 over the weight and stores sold for €300-680 over the €1/kg. Beef heifers sold for €300-500 over the weight and stores made €280-520 over.

A special dairy sale at Athenry Mart last week saw an average price of €1,664 paid for a mixture of mainly first-, second- and third-calved cows.

At Kilkenny Mart, store bullocks made up to €2.60/kg and a range of €1.72-2.45/kg. Heavy beef cattle sold for €1.67-2.19/kg. Friesian cull cows made €1-1.55/kg, while Continental cows sold for €1.20-1.65/kg. Butcher heifers weighing 450-500kg made €160-1.83/kg. Heavier lots for the factory sold for €1.60-1.98/kg.

Trade at Ballymote Mart was described as electric. Lighter weanling bulls made €300-570 over, while heavier lots sold for anything from €320 over up to a top price of €970 over the €1/kg. Heifers made €220-700 over, while store heifers made €250-460 over. Steers sold for €300-635 with their weight.

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Top class bulls over 600kg made €510-740 over the weight at Raphoe Mart. Beef bullocks sold for €300-715 over, while stores made €260-650 over the weight. Beef heifers made €325-725 over the €1/kg and store heifers sold for €200-600 over the weight. Dry cows prices varied from €500-1,290/hd.

Balla Mart had 945 cattle on offer, with prices for lighter store bullocks up €20/hd. They sold for €350-730 over the weight but plainer lots sold for €300-420 over. Quality store heifers made €420-700 over the €/kg.

Well-fleshed cull cows made €150-500 over, while suckler cows with a calf at foot made from €1,200-1,790 for the best of lots.

At Enniscorthy Mart, beef bullocks prices ranged from €950-1,500/hd or €350-750 over. Stores sold €650-1,000/hd.

Indo Farming