Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Heavy weanling bulls and heifers get best of trade as prices rise by 19c/kg

Joe Healy

Heavy weanling bulls, heifers and heavy steers enjoyed the best trade at cattle marts during the past week. Light store heifers were sluggish, with prices down an average of 4c/kg. In contrast, prices for heavy weanling heifers over 400kg rose by 19c/kg on average.

Heavy steers over 600kg sold for €2.10-2.60/kg in the main. A dairy clearance sale in Athenry last Thursday saw quality, age and price vary a bit, with prices paid of €700-1,330/hd. Continental suck calves continued to make up to €400/hd. The majority sucklers with calves at foot sold for €1,000-1,500 per unit.

Light Friesians and bulls were the poorest sellers in an otherwise lively sale at Kilkenny Mart where 700hd were put through the ring. Light continental stores reaped the benefit of strong grass growth with keener farmer demand.

Heavy steers sold for €2.03-2.46/kg. Good quality Friesians made up to €2.28/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.10-2.50/kg and lighter types sold for €1.80-2.95/kg or €250-735 with the weight.

In the heifer section, heavy factory lots made €2.40-2.90/kg while butcher types sold for €2.10-2.45/kg. Stores moved at €2.00-2.69/kg. Suckler cows sold for €980-1,710. Continental cull cows made €1.40-2.37/kg. Friesian culls sold for €1.20-2.32/kg.

Ballinakill had a smaller sale of 350 cattle but an improved trade for lighter stores saw prices increase by €10-20/hd. Heavy bullocks made €2.25-2.80/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.10-2.84/kg. Lighter lots sold for €1.90-3.00/kg.

Beef heifers sold for €1.90-2.60/kg and stores made €1.70-2.30/kg. In the weanling ring, bulls ranged from €1.80-2.60/kg and heifers sold for €1.60-2.30/kg. Cull cows sold for €1.30-2.00/kg.

Forward store bullocks and heifers and heavy cull cows were the best sellers at Ballymote Mart. Lots between 400-500kg made from €350-700 over. Heavier types sold for up to €960 over the €/kg. Heifers up to 400kg made €200-480 over their weight. Suckler cows with calves at foot sold for €850-1,450/unit.

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Cull cows sold for €300-870 with the €/kg. Weanling bulls under 300kg made €220- 400 over the weight. Heavier bulls sold for €300-600 over. Weanling heifers of 300-400kg made €220-610 with the weight.

There were 340 cattle at Dowra Mart last Saturday and the trade was very strong for all the forward cattle but lighter younger cattle continued to meet with sluggish demand. Heifers over 500kg made €2.30-2.70/kg, with lighter stores selling for €2.10-3.10/kg depending on quality.

Weanling heifers made €1.70-2.90/kg, with a few very fancy lots making €3.00-3.35/kg. Forward store bullocks sold for €2.20-2.60/kg and lighter lots made €1.80-2.75/kg. Heavy weanling bulls made €2.00-2.75/kg and lighter lots sold for €1.70-2.90/kg. Heavy cows met a very strong demand at prices of €1.80-2.40/kg. Feeding cows sold for €1.00-1.70/kg.


Balla Mart had 936 cattle for sale and reported a better trade with good demand, even for the plainer types. Prices for heifers were up by €20/hd. Heavy bullocks sold for €1.90-3.07/kg while lighter types made €1.94-3.24/kg. Heifers under 400kg sold for €1.71-3.38/kg. Heavy heifers made €1.90-2.90/kg. Weanling heifers sold for €1.70-2.74/kg and bulls sold for €1.73-3.15/kg.

Carnew had 720 cattle and 60 calves on offer, with more customers at the ringside. Prices increased by €20/hd on the previous week. Beef and forward store bullocks sold for €850-1,300 over the weight. Lighter stores made €450-1,000 over.

Strong export demand for suitable weanling bulls saw top prices of up to €1,300 paid. The majority of the rest sold for €450-800 over their weight. Beef heifers sold for €650-1,150 with their weight. Stores made €380-850 with the €/kg. Well-fleshed cull cows made €450-1,100 over the weight. Cows for further feeding sold for €50-400 over.

In the suck calf ring, Friesian bulls sold for €80-210. Continental bull calves sold for €220-450, while coloured heifers made €180-400.

Top-class bulls over 600kg sold for €900-1,115 over the weight at Raphoe Mart. Store bullocks sold for €575-835 over. Beef heifers made €670-1,175 over the €/kg. Stores sold for €250-735 with their weight. Cull cows sold for €700-1,460 each.

In Tuam, continental steers sold for €2.26-2.59/kg. Heavy weanling bulls made €2.77-3.13/kg. Lighter types made €2.09-3.00/kg. Heifers sold for €2.08-2.85/kg. Weanlings sold for €2.10-2.49/kg. Cows with calves at foot made up to €1,590/hd. Cull cows hit a high of €1,590 or €2.35/kg.

Pedigree bulls sold for €900-1,710 at Mayo/ Sligo Mart. Cows with calves at foot made up to €1,600. Cull cows topped out at €1,700 for a 790kg Aberdeen Angus cow. Continental bull calves sold for up to €400/hd and heifers made up to €440/hd.

Irish Independent