Farm Ireland

Friday 27 April 2018

Continued high demand sparks a rise in returns

Continued strong farmer and exporter demand means prices have improved, especially for the better quality lots.

Plainer stock remains a difficult trade. Renewed optimism in the dairy sector for the year ahead is resulting in farmers beginning to lose the run of themselves, with prices rising every week despite the fact that we are nearing June.

Wexford Co-op Mart said dairy cows were up by €40-50/hd, selling from €915 up to €1,645. Prices for the suckler cows were steady, ranging from €710-1,440. Beef bullocks made as high as €760 with the weight for top quality continental types, while plainer lots sold back to €235 over. Stores sold from €190-495 over the weight. Prices for beef and butcher heifers ranged from €175-415 over, with the stores about €20-30 behind those figures. Cull cows made from €155 under for the unfinished stock up to €395 over for the fleshy types.


Almost 400 calves were sold last Wednesday. The continentals were an excellent trade, the bulls sold from €170 up to a top of €420. Heifers made €135-385. Friesian heifer calves made €120-260, while the bulls sold for €85-225. Hereford and Angus bull and heifer calves sold up to top prices of €285 and €230 respectively.

Beef steers made €300-685 over their weight in Raphoe Mart last week. The stores sold for €250-515 over. Fat heifers made from €300 to €570 over, while the lighter store types sold for €230-520 with the €1/kg. Dry cows made €550-1,270.

There was a solid trade at Ballymote Mart. Good continental store bullocks made €400-475 over, while stores sold for €200-475 with their weight. Demand for heifers from Northern Irish farmers saw lighter types make up to €485 over the weight. Heavier stock upwards of 450kg sold for €240-500 over.

Exporters were active for the good weanlings, suitable bulls made €350-450 along with the €/kg while heifers sold for up to €400 over.

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There was little change to the trade in Kilkenny Mart. Active competition for the quality lots was cancelled out by a sluggish trade for the plain stock. Continental steers over 600kg made up to €645 over the weight, or €1.96/kg. Angus and Herefords made €1,79/kg, Friesians sold for €1.36/kg. Bullocks in the 400-600kg weight range made €250-400 over, while plain Friesian types made as low as €100 over.


Beef heifers made up to €1.97/kg (€570) with their weight. Angus and Hereford heifers sold for €1.50 to 1.70/kg. Friesian dry cows made from €150 under up to €225 over. Continentals sold from €40-350 over.

A busy week in Balla began with a pedigree Charolais bull and heifer sale where 68 animals were on show. The top price was €4,400, paid for a 16-month-old bull. There was a super trade for the weanlings, particularly for exporting types.

Young bulls made from €1.74/kg up to €2.03/kg, and the heifers sold for €1.57 to 1.91/kg. Top quality Belgian Blue bulls weighing 440-550kg achieved prices of €1,060 and €1,400 respectively. Belgian Blue heifers made €600-800 over. Store bullocks were up by €20/hd as more farmers were out buying.

Store heifers also met with a good trade. Cull cows sold to a top price of €1,430.

The weanling sale this week has been put back from today to next Saturday.

Irish Independent