Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Cattle trade 'firm to improved' as Irish beef stays in demand

Calf numbers on up with store cattle making up to €2 .70kg

Joe Healy

'Firm to improved" were the words used to describe the cattle trade at the marts over the past week. Beef cattle continue to be scarce. Store cattle are in keen demand, while quality types are at €2.20-2.70/kg.

Calf numbers are increasing. Friesian bull calves range from €100 for the light plain types up to and over €250 for the better lots. Dairy cows, especially heifers or young cows in milk, are also meeting with good demand and making up to €2,000/hd.

Ennis Mart had their fatstock show and sale recently. The best of the heavy stock made €2.40-2.65/kg. Good R-grade type steers sold for €2.20-2.35/kg.

Calved dairy heifers hit €1,400-2,000. Friesian bull calves made €100-240/hd. Continental bull calves traded for €350-450, while the heifers sold for €300-400. Hereford heifers made €200-300, while the bulls sold for €300-350.

Kilkenny had increased numbers of suck calves. Friesian bull calves made €105-390. Continental bull calves sold for €320-475, while the heifers made €280-415. In-calf Friesian heifers made €1,150-1,560 each, while freshly calved heifers went for €1,450 up to a top of €2,020.

Ballinakill Mart had bigger numbers than recently on offer. Prices were up by €20-30/hd for all cattle. Heavy steers sold for €2.10-2.45/kg. Forward stores moved at €2.10-2.70/kg, with the lighter lots at €2.30-2.95/kg. Beef heifers made €2.25-2.60/kg, while the stores hit €1.90-2.70/kg. Weanling bulls sold for €2.50-3.10/kg. Cull cows went for €1.75-2.05/kg.

Ballymote Mart reported an improved sale for all categories. Stores of 400-500kg made €600-800 over their weight. Heavier steers sold up to €900 over. Store heifers under 400kg sold for €350-725 with the €1/kg. The 400-500kg lots made €420-830 over, while the heavy types hit a high of €1,085 with the weight. Cull cows went for €250-700 over the €1/kg. In the weanling section, the light bulls sold for €400-560 over the weight, while heavier lots made up to €730 over. Light weanling heifers sold for €300-550 over their weight. Sucklers in-calf hit €900-1,320 each.

Dowra Mart had 520 cattle on offer last Saturday. Heifers over 600kg made €2-2.50/kg. Stores sold for €2.10-2.70/kg, while the weanlings made €2.20-3.10/kg. Bull weanlings over 450kg sold for €2.20-2.70/kg, while the lighter bulls made €2.20-3/kg. Some of the fancy Charolais bulls made up to €3.30/kg. The best of the heavy dry cows made €1.80-2.25/kg. Older thinner cows sold for €1.20-1.80/kg. Good cows with a calf at foot made €1,500-2,000, while the best of the in-calf heifers hit €1,400-1,800 each.

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Balla Mart had more than 800 cattle on offer. Suckler springers made up to a top of €2,340. Bullocks met a good trade and heavy stock averaged €2.12-2.55/kg. Lighter types made €2.77-3.62/kg.

Trade for heifers was also strong, with some quality heavy heifers making €2.32-2.70/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.70-3.12/kg. Prices were well up overall on previous weeks for weanling bulls, while some lighter ones made up to €3.39/kg.

The best of the heavy bulls over 600kg up in Raphoe made €705-1,505 over the weight. Beef bullocks sold for €690-1,070 over. Stores moved at €450-985 over the weight. Beef heifers traded at €465-840 over the €1/kg. Store heifers made €300-715 over the weight. Cull cows sold for €820-1,620 each.

Heifers made €2.68-3.36/kg at Maam Cross. Bullocks sold for €2.10-2.75/kg. Weanlings made €2.90-4.05/kg. Prices for cull cows topped out at €1,420, with the sucklers making up to €1,620 each.

Indo Farming