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Independent.ie

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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