Farm Ireland

Saturday 26 May 2018

Steer and bull weanling trade holds up but heifers have week from hell

Joe Healy

As the Ringside table shows, steers and bull weanlings had a reasonable week at the marts but heifers had the week from hell. Prices for all bar the top quality light store heifers fell by 2-17c/kg.

Prices for heavy bull weanlings over 400kg fell back too, but bulls under 400kg held firm and lighter bulls under 300kg all improved. Steers over 600kg had a mixed week but store prices generally improved on the previous week with average prices of €1.92-2.05/kg. The best of the bulls on offer made €2.50-3.00/kg while the majority sold for €2.00-2.40/kg. Nice heifer weanlings sold for €2.20-2.30/kg and plainer types sold for €1.90-2.10/kg. A lot of older heifers made €2.00-2.20/kg.

The first standalone weanling sale of the season in Kilkenny Mart had 120 calves on offer. The heaviest of the bulls moved at €2.20-2.60/kg or €400-660 with their weight while bulls of 300-400kg sold for €2.10-2.70/kg. Lighter types made €1.50-2.60/kg or €130-420 over the €/kg. Heifers over 400kg sold for €2.10-2.45/kg and 300-400kg heifers made €2.05-2.30/kg or €320-420 over the weight. Heifers under 300kg made €1.70-2.40/kg or €140-350 over.

Dowra Mart had 470 cattle on offer on Saturday with a steady trade for most lots although some of the plainer cattle proved a tough sell. Bullocks over 600kg made €1.90-2.30/kg with the lighter types making €1.80-2.60/kg. Weanling bulls over 450kg sold for €1.80-2.40/kg. Lighter bulls made €2.00-2.70/kg. The top lots made €2.80-3.30/kg. Forward store heifers sold for €2.00-2.30/kg. The lighter stores made €1.80-2.50/kg. Weanling heifers sold for €1.80-2.70/kg. Again, the top lots sold for €2.80-3.25/kg. Cull cows were quieter with the better lots making €1.60-1.90/kg. Feeders made €1.00-1.55/kg.

Carnew Mart recorded an excellent trade for its show and sale of Belgian Blue weanlings. Quality lots suitable for export sold for €3-3.52/kg while R-grade weanlings sold for €2.20-2.40/kg.

In the main cattle sale of 750 animals, beef and forward steers sold for €650-1,010 over the weight. Continental stores made €440-880 over the €/kg and plainer lighter stores made €180-450 over. Beef heifers sold for €550-930 with the weight while stores made €250-770 over. Cull cows sold for €120-850 with their weight.

In the suck calf ring, Friesian bulls made €80-155. Continental bulls sold for €180-430 with the heifer calves selling for €140-380.

Prices for bullocks were steady in Balla for the 400hd offered for sale. Heavy bullocks made €1.31-2.76/kg while lighter types made €1.30-2.78/kg. Light heifers under 400kg made €2.00-3.07/kg. Heavy heifers made €1.53-3.35/kg. A two-year-old first calver Charolais made €1,660 while the best cull cow, a three-year-old 850kg Charolais, made €1,905 or €2.24/kg.

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The special show and sale of weanlings born in 2013 had 650 bulls and 250 heifers. Prices were up on the corresponding sale last year. Light bulls under 350kg made €570-800 with their weight or €1.65-4.10/kg. Heavier bulls made €700-900 with their weight. Light heifers up to 350kg sold for €1.56-3.45/kg. Heavy heifer weanlings sold for €2.16-3.17/kg or €550-650 with the €/kg.

Ballinakill had a small sale of 400 cattle and the store trade struggled to match the prices of the previous week. Better store prices were back €10-20/hd while some of the forward store bullocks increased by €20-30/hd. Cull cows were in good demand and sold for €1.10-1.78/kg. Top quality heifers remained very firm, topping out at €2.60/kg. Store heifers and bullocks made €1.70-2.60/kg. Beef heifers made €2.00-2.45/kg. Weanling heifers sold for €1.70-2.10/kg. The heaviest of the steers traded at €1.90-2.48/kg. Bull weanlings made €1.75-2.25/kg.

At Ballymote Mart, store bullocks between 400-500kg were in demand and made €320-730 with their weight. Heavier types made €500-845 over the €/kg while lighter types sold for €250-545 over. Heifers under 400kg made €220-585 with the weight. Heavier lots made €350-855 over. Thin cull cows sold back to €50 under the weight. Fleshed cows made up to €750 over the €/kg. In the weanling section, bulls under 300kg made €270-570 over their weight and 300-400kg lots made €340-620 over. Heifer weanlings sold for €240-450.

Top class bulls over 600kg in Raphoe Mart sold for €660-790 over the weight. Beef bullocks sold for €400-810 over. Stores made €400-895 with the €/kg. Beef heifers ranged from €400-815 with the weight. Stores made €300-740 over. Bullocks in Maam Cross sold for €1.97-2.65/kg. Heifers made €2.01-2.31/kg. Weanling prices reflected the varied quality and sold for €2.30-3.75/kg. Cull cows sold for €1.25-1.80/kg.

Nice quality continental steers at Mayo/Sligo Mart made €2.20-2.54/kg, while well-made bull weanlings sold for €2.50-3.00/kg. Good coloured heifers sold for €2.20-2.63/kg, with a top price of €2.89/kg achieved by a 450kg Charolais that sold for €1,300. The best of the weanlings ranged from €2.20-2.71/kg. Cull cows peaked at €1,600 while the suckler cow price was €1,500.

Irish Independent

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