Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Plenty of buyers for good quality stores

Joe Healy

THE last week saw slightly smaller sales with heavy cattle scarce, but there was a very strong trade for quality store bullocks and heifers.

Beef bullocks made €245-505 in Enniscorthy Mart, while the stores ran at €40-50 behind that. Heifers suitable for slaughter sold for €190-405 over, while store heifers made €170-395 with their weight.

Under-fleshed cull cows sold from €145 under to €395 over for the heavier-fleshed cows. A good calf sale on Wednesday saw continental bull calves sell up to €425. The general run made €200-300. The coloured heifers sold for €130-385. Hereford and Angus bulls made €130-295 and the heifers €105-235. Good interest saw the Friesian bull calves sell for €80-230, with an extra €50 at least paid for the heifers.

There was strong demand for weanling bulls in Raphoe Mart last Thursday, where prices ranged from €400-640 over the weight. Store bullocks made €250-390 along with the €1/kg. Trade for the beef heifers ranged from €390 over for the better types back to €250 over for the plainer stock. Store heifers made €200-530 with the weight. Well-fleshed continental cull cows sold for up to €1,160. Plainer store cows sold back to €420.

There were 850 lots on offer last Saturday at Balla Mart and, with more farmers in attendance than normal, some excellent prices were paid for suitable quality stock.

Prices for the bullocks were improved on the previous week due to farmers buying the lighter lots for feeding stock. Quality lots were up at least €20/hd. Demand was good for most types of cattle and there was nearly a full clearance. Bullocks averaged €153.68-174.97 per 100kg, while heifers made €166.13-181.17 per 100kg.

Kilkenny Mart had a smaller sale than usual, even though they had a large entry of cull cows. These met with a strong trade and made €60-490 over the weight for the continental cows. One cow weighing 880kg sold for €1,370. Friesian culls made from €145 under up to €230 over depending on how fleshy they were.

There were also reduced numbers on offer last week at Ballymote Mart, where quality lots held firm but plainer types were harder to sell. Heavy store bullocks made €250-400.

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Trade was slightly easier in Ennis Mart with prices back €10/hd compared to some good sales over the previous weeks. Forward cattle were in good demand, however. Belgian Blue weanling bulls sold for €2.50-3.50/kg with the Charolais and Limousins around €2/kg. Dairy cows made €900-1,300, while the suckler cows made €800-1,150.

Irish Independent