Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Cattle marts: Quality lots earn €15/hd more as trade picks up

Joe Healy

MARTS around the country reported a good firm trade across all categories of cattle with improvements of €10-15/hd evident, especially for the quality lots.

The annual weanling show and sale was held in Athenry mart last week. A large presence of exporters allied to very active farmer-buying led to a strong trade especially for the bulls. Top Belgian Blue calves made €3-3.40/kg with the general run of good continental bulls selling for €2.30-2.70/kg. Farmers were very anxious for the heavy types over 400kg and also for the heifer weanlings, with €1.60- 2.10/kg being the range for the continental females.

On Saturday, they are holding a special mixed breed sale of suckler heifers. An entry of 60 maiden heifers and 45 in-calf heifers will be on show.

Balla had 720 weanlings on offer with some excellent prices paid, especially for BB weanlings due to the presence of export buyers and local farmers buying. Bull weanlings made from €320-600 over their weight. Heifer weanlings made from €200-570 over.

On Saturday they had 1,150 head of cattle on offer. Prices for store bullocks were up €10-15. Prices were steady for the heifers. Some breeding heifers fetched very high prices with one 400kg Limousin heifer making €1,500 while two-yearold in-calf heifers made from €1,200-1,620.

Prices at Wexford Farmers Mart improved by €10-15/hd for all classes including plainer stock. Beef bullocks were making €270-530 over. Stores made €225-480 over the weight. Beef and butcher heifers sold for €800-1,125 or €205-435 over the €/kg. Store heifers prices ranged from €535-775 or €185- 385 over. Cull cows made from €60 under to €320 over.

At their weanling sale, prices for bulls ranged from €595-915 or €310 - 490 over with a tops of €685 over.

Mountbellew mart reported larger numbers of all types of cattle and weanlings on offer. Bullocks made up to €380 over their weight. Heifers were selling for €250-300 over. The weanling sale saw a good trade with exporters paying €2-2.15/kg for bulls.

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Trade was up in Kilkenny by €10-15/hd classes. Some of the heifers and the cull cows were a little tougher to sell. Heavy continental steers generally made €1.55-1.70/kg or up to €465 over with the Friesians making €1.10-1.20/kg. Steers between 400-600kgs made from €120-505 over the weight.

Trade in Ballymote showed little change with plenty of farmer customers evident as winter finishers stock up. Continental store bullocks were the best trade. In the heifer section specialist suckler producers were active for suitable breeding stock.

Top Class Bulls over 600kg made €320-570 over the weight up in Raphoe mart. Beef Bullocks were selling for €300-540 over with the stores at €200-520 over the weight.Prices for the beef heifers ranged from €250- 575 over the €/kg. Store heifers made between €200-500 over the weight.