Farm Ireland

Thursday 26 April 2018

Cattle Marts: Store bullocks and heifers driving strong prices

Joe Healy

CATTLE prices remain very strong at the marts. Good quality store bullocks and heifers are great sellers while farmers and exporters are very active for the weanlings. Trade for suck calves and all types of cows, especially heavy cull cows, remains very brisk.

Tullow Mart had a small sale of just over 265 head on Friday. Trade was strong for all lots. Dry cows sold from €400 up to a tops of €815/hd. Suckler cows with calves at foot made from €950-1,100/hd. Prices for store heifers ranged from €220-360 with the weight, while heavy heifers sold from €280-400 over. Plain bullocks were €200 over. Quality lots made up to €407 over their weight.

The weanling season made a strong start, especially for the heavier lots. Bull weanlings sold in the region of €300-550 over and the weanling heifers sold from €250-450 over.

There was an excellent show of weanlings for the sale of autumn-born stock in Ballymote Mart. The majority of bulls made over €300 with their weight with most of the heifers making above €250 over.

The bullock section saw plenty of customers, with winter finishers evident. Steers over 500kg made €250-355 over their weight. Lighter types sold from €230-365 over. Heifers up to 400kg sold for €200-315 over the weight while those over 400kg made from €200-340 over. The cull cows varied in price from €620 up to €915/hd.

Weanling bulls under 300kg sold for €200-345 over. Bulls over 300kg made €250-510 over the weight. The best trade was for Belgian Blue types for export with prices from €350-870 over their weight. Weanling heifers under 300kg sold for €200-280 over while lots over 300kg made from €220-470 over.

Ballymote Mart is having a special sale of store bullocks and heifers on Friday.

Ballinakill Mart had a smaller sale than normal but prices were up across the board especially for some of the lighter fancier types. Some store bullocks made as high as €500 over the weight with the beef heifers selling from €335-400 over. Weanlings also met a very brisk trade with the bulls selling for €345-410 over. Heifer weanlings sold for €260-340 over. Cull cows made from €1/kg up to €345 over. Suckler cows were making from €870-1,140/hd.

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On Saturday Balla Mart had 1,155 cattle on offer. Prices were up by €20-30/hd for both bullocks and heifers.

The quality store bullocks made from €250-550 with the weight while plainer lots sold for €200-430 over. Bull weanlings made from €300-800 over. In the heifer ring the best of the store and weanling heifers were making from €220-700 over their weight. Good quality cull cows made from €150-300 over. Lively demand for suckler cows with calves at foot drove prices to a range of €1,100 up to a top price of €1,640 for the best of the lots Older cows with calves made upwards of €800/head.

Wexford Farmers' Mart had a very fast selling trade for all classes especially forward stores for the 510 bullocks and heifers on offer. This sale also included a special sale of weanlings. Demand was very strong from both farmers and exporters. Bulls sold from €280-645 over, and heifers for €225-510 over.

The beef bullocks made €285-580 over their weight in a price range of €885-1,290/hd. Store bullocks and the beef and butcher heifers made from €225-485 with the weight while the store heifers sold for €205-385 over. Cull cow prices ran from €60 under up to €350 over. The mart's calf sale on Wednesday had a very firm demand, especially for the strong continental calves with top prices for the bulls exceeding the €400 mark. Heifers sold from €125-385. Friesian bull calves made from €95-205/hd with the Friesian heifers selling for €140-310. Hereford and Angus heifers sold for €100-215 while the bulls were making €10-30/hd more.

Trade for dairy cows was steady and they made from €865-1,325/hd. Suckler prices ranged from €675-1,285/hd.

Irish Independent