Farm Ireland

Monday 19 February 2018

Demand remains strong amid price variations

Joe Healy

Cattle marts are returning to normal again after the festive break with more customary numbers appearing.

While demand remains relatively keen, the prices are not overly exciting with the continuing negative propaganda from the factories undoubtedly having a knock-on effect.

It is impossible for farmers to be optimistic or have confidence in the sector when they are seeing and experiencing a total lack of respect from the processors.

At the moment there is the odd report of extra bulls either finished or near finished being offered for sale through the marts as farmers are finding it difficult to deal satisfactorily with the factories.

Prices mentioned run from €1.90-2.00/kg. Ringside will show the general run of steers under 500kg at the marts make from €1.95/kg to €2.50/kg, with the heavier types moving at €1.85-2.20/kg.

Plainer heavy steers were making €1.55-1.70/kg, with lighter lots selling for €1.30-1.55/kg.

Heifers up to 500kg were selling for €2.10-2.50/kg. Poorer quality lots sold for €1.80-1.95/kg.

Heifers over 500kg made from €2.15/kg to €2.35/kg, while the lesser types sold for €1.90-2.10/kg.

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The better weanling bulls made from €1.90/kg to €2.60/kg. More dairy-bred types were selling around the 1.50/kg.

Kilkenny had almost 500 head on offer. Quality was not as good as before Christmas. Cull cows -- especially those lacking flesh -- were difficult to sell.


Trade was strong for all heifers with a plentiful supply of customers. A notable feature of the sale was an increased number of heavy bulls which sold from €1.80 to €2.10/kg or €400-650 with the weight.

Quality store bullocks on offer were scarce. Steers over 600kg made from €1.75/kg to €2.35/kg.

The 500-600kg lots were making from €1.70-2.15/kg with the 400-500kg lots moving in a range from €1.75/kg to €2.40/kg.

Lighter bullocks made €1.50-2.65/kg or €250-600 over. Beef heifers were selling for €2.00-2.45/kg or €600-900 with their weight.

Butcher lots sold for €1.90-2.30/kg, while the stores made €1.75-2.40/kg. Continental cull cows sold between €1.30/kg and €1.85/kg.

Friesian culls made €1.05-1.60/kg.

A small sale of 250 cattle at Ballinakill Mart met with a lively trade for the heifers and the fancy store bullocks, but the cull cows and beefy over-age cattle were difficult to sell.

Heavy bullocks were selling for €1.80-2.25/kg. Forward continental stores sold for €1.90-2.45/kg.

Light stores sold for €1.85-2.50/kg.

Fleshed heifers were making €1.95-2.30/kg. Stores made from €1.75/kg to €2.20/kg.

Weanling bulls ranged from €1.80/kg to €2.20/kg, while the heifers made €1.70-2.10/kg.

Cull cows moved at €1.00-1.60/kg.

Bullocks at Maam Cross sold for €1.95-2.55/kg. Heifers ranged from €1.60/kg to €2.85/kg.

Prices for weanlings varied from €1.60 to €3.15/kg, with a big difference in the quality of weanlings on offer.

Heavy bullocks at Balla Mart were making €400-700 with their weight or €1.54-2.66/kg, while lighter plainer types were making around €400-650 with the weight or from €1.93/kg to €2.63/kg.

Light heifers under 400kg were selling for €1.98-2.52/kg.

Light bull weanlings under 350kg were making from €500-650 over their weight or €1.84-2.64/kg. The light heifers up to 350kg were selling from €2.03-3.03/kg or €400-550 with their weight.

Heavy heifers made from €300-460 with the weight or €1.89-2.24/kg.


Dowra Mart had only 140 cattle on offer last Saturday with poor driving conditions having an effect. Trade was up from the previous opening sale for 2014.

Weanling heifers under 300kg made €2.00-2.60/kg, while those from 300-400 kg sold for €2.10-2.50/kg. Store heifers from 400-550kg made €1.80-2.60/kg.

Weanling bulls under 300kg were moving at €1.90-2.50/kg, while those from 300-400kg made €1.90-2.60/kg.

Bulls over 400kg ranged from €2.00-2.20/kg.

The best of the cull cows were selling from €1.40-1.70/kg, with the older thinner cows making €0.60-1.30/kg.

The best of the in-calf suckler heifers made €1,400-2,280 with the tops paid for a Simmental cross that is due to calve this week to a Limousin bull.

Irish Independent