Farm Ireland

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cattle trade at marts remains solid with plain bulls the only weak spot

Joe Healy

Overall, the cattle trade at the marts around the country over the past week was very solid with active buying throughout. Some of the plainer bull weanlings were a bit easier.

A price range of €2.00-2.50 continues to buy the majority of the finished bullocks and heifers. Quality stores and weanlings made from €2.40-2.80/kg with top lots pushing up towards €3/kg. Plainer stores and weanlings sold for €1.50-2.00/kg.

Well-fleshed Continental cull cows made from €1.80-2.20/kg and the best of the Friesian culls up to €1.80/kg. Plain thin cows struggled to make the €1/kg. The best of the young suckler cows with a calf at foot made up to €2,000/unit with a few top pairs a bit more. Otherwise, the general run sold between €1,000-1,500/unit.

The 600hd at Kilkenny Mart met with increased farmer interest in the plainer lots. However, plain bulls met a sticky enough trade. Heavy steers over 600kg sold for €2.00-2.25/kg or €600-915 with the weight. The 500-600kg steers made from €1.80-2.50/kg reflecting €480-840 with the €1/kg. Lighter types depending on quality ranged from €1.40-2.95/kg. Beef heifers sold for €2.20-2.50/kg with butcher types at €2.00-2.25/kg. Stores weighing from 320-400kg made from €1.60-2.61/kg or €300-600 with their weight. Continental cull cows made from €1.45-2.10/kg. Friesian cull cows sold for €1.00-1.80/kg.

Ballinakill had more than 400 cattle for sale. The well-fleshed and forward stores remain a strong trade but a lack of farmers around the ring, due to the good weather, resulted in the lighter and plainer lots proving a little harder to sell. Heavy bullocks traded at €2.10-2.50/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.00-2.80/kg with lighter types at €1.90-2.90/kg. Finished heifers moved at €1.80-2.60/kg. Stores made from €1.60-2.10/kg. The weanling bulls moved at €1.95-2.70/kg, with the heifers making from €1.65-2.20/kg.

Trade was steady in Ballymote with the best of the selling involving forward prime cattle and heavy cull cows. Bullocks over made from €440-700 over the €1/kg. Lots under the 400kg mark made from €300-800 over. Weanling bulls made from €340-600 over the weight. Light heifers sold for €200-540 with their weight. The 400-500kg types made from €420-550 over while heavier lots sold up to €750 over their weight. Weanling heifers moved at €250-400 over. Sucklers with a calf at foot made upwards of €1,050/unit. Cull cows sold for €250-620 with the weight.

Trade was described as very stable and solid for the 750hd on offer at Carnew Mart. Beef and forward store steers sold for €650-1,105 with their weight. Lighter stores made from €350-910 over. Well fleshed heifers ranged from €650-1,050 with the €1/kg while stores made from €280-750 over the weight. Heavy cull cows topped out at €1,010 with their weight. Cows for further feeding sold back to €320 over. Sucklers with a calf at foot made from €950-2,350/unit.

Continental steers between 550-650kg at Tuam Mart sold for €2.34-2.49/kg. The lighter types made from €2.00-2.40/kg. Heavy heifers over 550kg made from €2.10-2.64/kg. Coloured heifers between 420-520kg sold for €2.25-2.56/kg. Lighter types of 300-400kg made from €2.11-2.39/kg. Cull cows ranged from €1.86-2.22/kg. Suckler cows with a calf at foot sold from €1,080-1,450.

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Up in Raphoe, good heavy bulls over 600kg made from €725-1,095 with the €1/kg. Beef heifers made from €580-800 with their weight with stores selling for €300-730 over. Fat cows made up to €1,770. Culls for feeding on sold back to €750.

Keen bidding from buyers from the midlands, the North and from local farmers meant that quality stock made a strong trade at Ballina Mart. Heavy Continental steers made up to €920 with their weight or €2.50/kg while the heifers made up to €2.47/kg. Quality bull weanlings sold from €2.20-2.90/kg with the heifers at €2.00-2.30/kg. Suckler cows with a calf at foot sold for €1,100-1,890. Heavy Continental cull cows over 700kg made from €1,400-1,595 or up to €2.05/kg.

In the suck calf section, the Continental bulls varied quite a bit in quality and sold from €82-320. Heifer calves made from €160-277. A weanling sale of U and R grades will take place on July 16.

The suckler cows with a calf at foot sold for €1,120-1,320/unit at Maam Cross Mart. Cull cows moved at €820-1,100. Steers made from €1.80-2.73/kg. Weanling bulls sold for €2.45-3.25/kg with heifers at €2.25-3.51/kg.

There was a good trade for the 600 stock at Balla Mart. Heavy bullocks sold for €1.49-2.74/kg while lighter types made from €1.22-2.92/kg. Light heifers under 400kg made from €1.67-2.70/kg. Heavy lots made from €1.95-2.52/kg. A four-year-old Limousin cow with a Belgian Blue bull at foot topped the suckler section at €1,580, and the best cull cow, a six-year-old Charolais weighing 870kg, hit a high of €1,565.

There was a smaller sale of weanlings and prices were similar to the previous week. Heavy heifer weanlings traded at €1.90-2.52/kg while lighter types under 350kg moved at €1.95-2.50/kg.

Irish Independent

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