Farm Ireland

Thursday 14 December 2017

Fewer numbers and slower trade in many marts

Joe Healy

FINE weather, hay, silage and busy farmers have led to reduced numbers of stock at the marts over the past week and the trade also suffered a bit in places.

Balla Mart had a special sale last Saturday with 750 lots on offer. Exporters and Northern buyers were very active with some excellent prices paid for suitable lots, especially the top bulls. Prices for the heavy bullocks were up €20-25 on the previous week.

Bullocks averaged from €1.63-1.77/kg while heifers were making €1.70-1.84/kg. Bull weanlings averaged €1.90-2.33/kg.

Up in Raphoe Mart, top-class bulls over 600kg were making €445-655 over the weight.

Beef bullocks sold for €355-515 over with the store bullocks selling in a range of €250-495 over.

The better type beef heifers made up to €515 over with the plainer types selling back to €250 over. Store heifers ranged from €200-390 over and dry cows sold from €530 to €1,095 each.

Ballinakill Mart reported a small but good sale. Heavy bullocks made €1.62-1.80/kg. Stores sold from €1.14 for the lighter, plainer type up to €2.15 for the good-quality light store.

Nice store heifers sold up to €2/kg with the plainer heifers selling back to €1.30/kg. Good weanling bulls and heifers sold to €2.05 and €2.10/kg respectively.

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There were smaller numbers than normal in Mountbellew Mart and due to the fine farming weather, cattle prices were back by as much as €80/hd on the previous week with less buyers in attendance.

Bullocks made up to €350 with their weight. Heifers made up to €370 over. Weanling bulls and heifers made similar prices to store cattle prices.

Mountbellew Mart's final cattle sale for the summer period takes place on Friday, June 25 and will resume on Friday, August 27, and every Friday thereafter with weanling sales to be held immediately after the cattle sale.

Demand outstripped supply in Kilkenny Mart with all cattle selling well. Heavy continental types made €1.60-1.94/kg. Friesian steers over 600kgs made up to €1.36/kg. Lighter continentals made over €2/kg with some as high as 2.22/kg or €460 over the weight. Friesians made €100 over selling for €1.32/kg. Butcher heifers made €220-325 over in a range of €1.40-1.70/kg.

Autumn calving suckler cows were making €750-1,050 while cows with calves at foot made €800-1,280/hd.


Numbers on offer in Ballymote Mart were also reduced due to the good weather. However, quality lots held firm. There was plenty of interest in lots suitable for export.

Store bullocks made €180-340 over the weight. Bull weanlings made up to €410 over for the better quality lots. The heifer trade was steady with these making €170-330 over. Weanling heifers sold from €150-285 over.

There was very little change in prices in Wexford Mart, with demand holding very strong for quality classes of stock.

Beef bullocks sold from €855 to €1,230/hd. This was a range over the weight of €260-500. Store bullocks made €200-480 over. Beef and butcher heifers were selling for €790-1,075/hd or €205-420 over with the store heifers making €545-765/hd or €190-385 over.

Cull cows sold from €145 under for the plainer types up to €365 over the weight for the more continental and fleshy stock.

On Wednesday last they had 190 calves on offer. Prices were steady, with a strong export demand, especially to Northern Ireland. Continental bulls made €180-415 with the heifers making €145-380.

The Hereford and Angus bulls sold for €140-300 and the heifers for €110-245.

Demand for Friesian bull calves remains relatively strong with prices in the range of €95-225. The Friesian heifer sold for €150-315.

Irish Independent