Farm Ireland

Monday 26 February 2018

Halt to price slide as trade at marts is reported to be 'relatively stable'

Joe Healy

The downward price trend of recent weeks appears to have levelled off in the past week. Numbers were small at most marts around the country and the trade was reported as relatively stable.

Continental prime cattle fit for slaughter sold for €2.00-2.50/kg, while plainer breeds sold for €1.50/kg and up. Weanling bull prices increased somewhat and while heavy weanling heifers over 400kg showed an improvement, 300-400kg heifers were back slightly. Plain, thin cull cows also proved a difficult trade and at times they struggled to make €1/kg. Top quality lots continued to sell around the €2/kg mark.

A small turnout of 350hd of cattle at Kilkenny Mart met with a sharper trade for quality lots. The improved grass growth has also served to help activity at ringside. Heavy steers made €2.05-2.45/kg or €480-900 with their weight. Forward stores sold for €1.80-2.70/kg.

The 400-500kg steers sold for €1.65-2.85/kg or €320-830 with the weight. Light bullocks made €1.50-2.65/kg. Factory heifers sold for €1.90-2.40/kg or €480-820 with the €/kg. Butcher types sold for €2.00-2.25/kg while stores made €250-500 over the weight or €1.70-2.25/kg. Continental cull cows sold for €1.40-1.95/kg and Friesian cull cows sold for €1.00-1.70/kg.

Balla Mart had 420 cattle for sale. Prices for quality heavy bullocks were slightly up at €800-900 with their weight or €1.52-2.67/kg. Lighter plainer types were harder to sell and sold for €450-590 with the €/kg or €1.37-2.82/kg.

Light heifers under 400kg sold for €1.40-2.68/kg while heavy lots made €1.95-2.63/kg.

A two-year-old Charolais cow with a Charolais bull calf at foot topped the sucklers at €1,990, while a seven-year-old Simmental-cross cow weighing 860kg hit a high of €1,785 in the cull cow section. A smaller sale of weanlings saw steady prices, with heavy bulls over 350kg making €1.82-2.03/kg. Lighter types made €2.18-2.43/kg.

Ballinakill Mart had small numbers and a slight dip in price, although forward heifers and dry cows were still a lively trade. Small plain bullocks and bulls proved difficult to sell. Heavy steers sold for €2.00-2.65/kg. Forward stores sold for €1.90-2.50/kg and lighter stores sold for €1.80-2.75/kg. Fleshed heifers made €1.65-2.55/kg. Stores sold for €1.50-2.10/kg. Weanling bulls sold for €1.70-2.55/kg and heifers sold for €1.60-2.30/kg.

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It was a similar story of small numbers at Dowra Mart on Saturday last. Trade was steady for all classes. A few lots of heavy bullocks over 600kg made €2.10-2.30/kg. Lighter steers sold for €1.80-2.40/kg. Weanling bulls sold for €1.90-2.70/kg. Weanling heifers made €2.00-2.40/kg with a few fancy lots making up to €2.70/kg. Forward-store heifers sold for €1.80-2.45/kg. The best of the cull cows made €1.70-2.10/kg.

There was a very big entry of 840 cattle on offer at Carnew Mart. Prices improved for all classes with strong factory, farmer and export demand. Beef and factory steers sold for €680-990 over their weight. Quality stores made €520-850 over. Lighter plainer stores made €120-500 with their weight. Weanling bulls moved at €420-980 over. Beef heifers sold at €620-1000 with the €/kg. Store heifers sold for €250-750 over the weight. Well-fleshed cows sold for €450-900 over the weight.

A clearance sale of an Aberdeen Angus suckler herd saw cows with calves at foot sell for €1,800-2,850/unit. The sale of a show cow raised €4,300 for the CCRT Cancer Clinical Research fund. Top-class bulls over 600kg up in Raphoe sold for €685-830 over the weight. Beef bullocks sold for €635-935 over. Store bullocks made €350-585 over their weight. Beef heifers sold for €455-815 over the €/kg and stores made €300-690 over.

Charolais heifers at Mayo/Sligo Mart made up to €2.85/kg. Continental weanling heifers made up to €2.50/kg. Cull cows peaked at €1,475/hd with the best suckler cow accompanied by a calf selling for €1,570. In the suck calf section, Continental bulls made up to €500/hd while the heifer calves made up to €410/hd. There will be no cattle sale next Saturday.

Irish Independent