Farm Ireland

Saturday 25 November 2017

Cattle marts: Exporters keep floor on prices

Joe Healy

Exporters faced tougher farmer competition over the past week for quality weanlings, with trade remaining strong as a result. Heifers suitable for breeding were also in good demand, while the better type continental store cattle and especially steers were probably up in most marts around the country. Farmers need to watch out and try to get a bit of weight into their weanlings as the lighter animals do not realise big prices.

The good R/U bull weanlings were making €2-2.15/kg in Ennis mart with the 320-330kg calf selling for around €700. Heavier types up to 400kg were ranging from €1.80-2/kg while lighter bulls around 270-280kg were making €1.90-2.10/kg. The heifers were at a similar level. Some top BB bulls of 300-350kg made up to €2.70/kg. BBs over 350kg sold for €2.30-2.50/kg.

Balla mart's special end-of-month sale saw prices for lighter store bullocks up €10-20 on the previous week due to more buyers being present. Quality types made from €260-585 over the weight while plainer lots made from €200-400 over. In the heifer ring, prices were steady.

Bull weanlings made from €300-600 over their weight with the heifers making from €200-530 over. Dry cows were in great demand, while suckler cows with calves at foot made from €1,100-1,450 for the best of the lots on offer.

Wexford mart had 685 cattle on offer with a very lively trade for the strong quality cattle. There were plenty of customers and a fast selling trade. Lighter and plainer stock were a little harder to sell.

Beef bullocks sold from €870-1,215 in a range of €260-530 over. Stores prices ran from €565-860 or €215-485 over.

Beef and butcher heifers were making €225-460 over. Store heifers prices of €525-785 reflected a range of €185-375 over. Cull cows made from €60 under to €315 over the weight.

At the calf sale, continental bulls were selling for €155-405 and the heifers from €130-375. Friesian bulls made €95-215.

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Larger numbers of cattle were on offer at Mountbellew mart. A slightly easier trade was reported for heifers and plainer-type stock. Good quality store bullocks met with an excellent trade with local farmers and midland buyers paying between €300-400. Good quality weanling bulls also saw strong demand making €280-350 over.

Trade for store bullocks in Ballymote was unchanged. The fancy continental steers from 380-450kg were best sellers with strong farmer interest. The difference between quality stock and plainer types is becoming more evident every week with farmers citing the QPS as an influencing factor.

The heifer trade was solid with some quality breeding types proving to be much sought after. Lighter stores up to 400kg made €150-360 over. From 400-600kg, prices ranged between €240-490 over.

Bullocks weighing 300-400kg sold for €200-405 over with the 400-600kg steers selling for €220-460 over.

Dry cows made from €100 under for older backward types up to €310 over for more forward fleshy stock.

Up in Raphoe, top-class bulls over 600kg were selling at €360-560 over the weight. Beef bullocks made €395-415 over with the stores making €200-550 over. Heavy fleshed heifers sold in a range of €250-445 over.

Irish Independent