Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Solid trading, but plain stock remains sluggish and heifer sales are tougher

Joe Healy

The mart trade was described as solid, if not always lively, around the country over the past week. However, plain stock remain sluggish and heifers also tended to be tougher than previous weeks.

Most of the finished steers were making from €2.00-2.50/kg. Friesians and poorer quality types sold from €1.55-1.95/kg. Continental stores were moving at prices of €2.20-2.70/kg. Lesser types sold for €1.60-2.00/kg. Exporters and farmers were active at the weanling sales.

Top quality lots were making over €3/kg. Farmers were paying between €2.20-2.70/kg. Depending on quality and weight, most of the weanling heifers sold from €1.80-2.50/kg. Fancy lots made up to and over the €3/kg. Heavy Continental cull cows made up to €2/kg.

Ballinakill Mart had 600 head of stock on offer. Trade was similar to previous weeks for most classes but stores were improved by €10-20/hd. Heavy bullocks were making from €2.15-2.50/kg.

Forward stores moved for €1.90-2.65/kg. Lighter lots made from €1.80-2.70/kg. Beef heifers sold for €2.00-2.30/kg. Stores ranged from €1.65-2.40/kg. Weanling bulls made from €1.90-2.70/kg, while the heifers traded for €1.60-2.40/kg. Cull cows made from €1.00-1.80/kg.

At Enniscorthy Mart trade was strong due to a plentiful supply of exporters and farmer buyers present. The weanling bulls were selling for €450-760 with their weight. A few of the top quality lots made up to €1,000 over. The heifers made from €420-600 over. Beef bullocks made from €700-1,015 over the €/kg. Stores traded for up to €920 over for the tops while plain lots proved a difficult trade and sold down to €150 over the weight. The fleshed heifers made from €550-950 with the weight. Cull cow prices ran from €650-1,850.

They had 130 suck calves on offer. Continental bulls sold for €370-500 while the heifers went for €300-420. Hereford and Angus bulls sold for €300-450. Prices for the heifers ranged from €220-375. Friesian bull calves made from €100-270.

Quality stock at Kilkenny Mart met with a lively trade but the plainer lots remain difficult to move. Cattle fit for slaughter were in demand. Heavy Continental steers over 600kg were making from €2.15-2.50/kg or €700-1,055 over their weight.

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Friesian bullocks between 400-600kg made from €1.50-1.76/kg while coloured steers in this weight sold from €1.90-2.60/kg. Lighter stores made from €2.20-2.78/kg in the main while plainer lots sold from €1.50-2.00/kg. Beef heifers were selling for €2.05-2.65/kg with the butcher lots making from €1.80-2.50/kg. Stores made from €1.80-2.20/kg or €280-480 with the €/kg. Continental cull cows sold for €1.40-2.05/kg, with the Friesian cows making from €1.10-1.85/kg.

There was a good show of organic cattle on offer at Mountbellew Mart. The trade was marginally better than the normal commercial. Strong heifers made in the region of €450-500 with their weight. Continental bull weanlings were selling for €2.10-2.27/kg with the good heifers moving for €2.00-2.63/kg. A selection of Aberdeen Angus in-calf heifers due to calve next December sold for €1,350.

Dowra Mart had 740 cattle on offer on Saturday last. Trade was stronger than previous weeks for all classes and particularly for the good quality weanling bulls and heifers. Bullocks over 600kg made from €2.00-2.45/kg. Stores made from €2.20-2.70/kg. Weanling bulls over 550kg sold from €2.20-2.60/kg while bulls between 400-550kg moved for €2.20-3.00/kg. Lighter lots under 400kg were making from €2.40-3.20/kg with a few fancy lots making up to €3.50/kg. Strong heifers over 550kg and suitable for breeding ranged from €2.10-2.70/kg. Lighter store heifers made from €2.00-2.50/kg.

The largest sale ever at Balla Mart was held last Saturday with over 1,420 lots on offer from 326 sellers. The record entry obviously did not suffer from the fact that there was over 1,000 head at the weanling sale earlier in the same week.

Prices were improved for the heavy store bullocks by €20-40/hd as a result of the presence of a large number of northern and midland buyers. Heavy bullocks were selling from €1.55-2.74/kg, while lighter types made from €1.67-2.74/kg. Some of the good heavy heifers on offer made from €1.45-2.74/kg. Forward store heifers made from €1.91-3.07/kg. A Limousin heifer due to calve in December topped the suckler prices at €1,710.

The majority of light weanling bulls were making from €2.31-4.10/kg. Heavier bulls made from €1.72-3.45/kg. The 550 weanlings and 50 sucklers at Carnew Mart met with a very strong demand from farmers and exporters.

Feeding bulls made from €400-850 with their weight while the shippers were paying from €620-1,140 over. The heifers for export were making from €550-960 with the €/kg. Farmers were paying from €320-650 over the weight.

Indo Farming