Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Continental sucklers are the stars as prices hold firm for quality stores

Joe Healy

The mart trade was relatively positive over the past week with many reporting prices being firm to improved. The best sellers were the good Continental sucklers with a sound calf-at-foot, along with the finished or quality store stock.

In certain parts of the country the unfavourable weather has left land in a condition that does not encourage farmers to buy stores to graze until a period of dry weather improves ground conditions. Most of the heavy beef cattle made from €2.00-2.65/kg.

Good quality weanling bulls made up to and over €3/kg. In the main, the general run were selling for €2.20-2.70/kg. Plainer types were selling for a bit either side of €2/kg. Suckler cows with a calf-at-foot made from €1,500-2,400/unit, with older and plainer units moving for €1,000-1,300.

Kilkenny Mart had a smaller turnout of 420hd, with a lively trade reported apart from the store heifers where a noticeable lack of farmer customers had a negative affect on trade. The heavy steers were selling for €2.10-2.66/kg. Forward stores made €2.00-2.40/kg, with the Friesians dominating at the lower end of the prices. Lighter stores generally sold for €2.00-3.00/kg.


The 540 cattle at Balla Mart met with an improved trade, especially for the plainer lots. Heavy bullocks were selling from €1.95 to €2.98/kg. Quality light weanling bulls sold up to €3.04/kg, while plainer lots moved for upwards of €1.81/kg. Heavy bulls traded at €1.93-2.85/kg. The best of the suckler cows with a Belgian Blue crossbred bull-calf at foot hit a high of €2,100.

Ballinakill Mart reported a firmer trade for all classes due to more buyers around the ring. Prices in general were up by €10-20/hd compared to the previous week. Heavy bullocks were selling from €1.90/kg to 2.80/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.00-2.90/kg, with the lighter stores making €1.80-3.00/kg. Beef heifers ranged from €2.00-2.40/kg, with the stores making from €1.80/kg to €2.30/kg. In the weanling section the weanling bulls made €2.00-2.70/kg. The heifers sold for €1.80-2.40/kg. Prices for cull cows ran from €1.30/kg to €2.10/kg.


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There was a bigger sale of 550 cattle at Carnew with steady prices for all classes. Beef and forward store bullocks were making €150-1,030 over the weight. Lighter stores made from €350 to €820 over the €1/kg. Finished heifers sold for €550-950 over with the stores making €350-720 over.

Quality forward stock over 500kg held their price very well at Ballymote Mart. However, prices for lighter types were under pressure as a result of the ongoing poor weather. Steers under 400kg were selling for €400-535 with their weight.

Heavier steers moved at €500-720 over. The heifers less than 400kg moved at €300-500 with the €1/kg. The 400-500kg lots were making from €320 to €515 over, with the heavier types making up to €870 with the weight. Prices for the cull cows ranged from €600 to €650 over the €1/kg. They are holding a special sale of store heifers on August 9.

Down in Enniscorthy, the beef bullocks were making from €800-980 with their weight in a price range of €1,080-1,820.

At their calf sale, the Continental bulls were making from €300-480, with the heifer calves moving at €220-460. Hereford and Angus bulls made from €200 to €410. The heifers in those breeds sold for €180-395. Good heavy bulls over 600kg at Raphoe Mart moved at €845-985 over the weight. Heavy steers made from €615 to €685 with their weight.

At Mayo/Sligo Mart, the heavy bullocks made up to €720 with their weight. The best of the bull weanlings made €2.20-2.80/kg. Strong heifers over 550kg were making from €2.10 to €2.40, while the good weanling heifers moved at €2.00-2.33/kg. In-calf suckler cows sold for €1,000-1,340.

Dowra Mart had 180 cattle. Trade was similar to the previous week. The good cull cows were selling from €1.80-2.10/kg.

Indo Farming