Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

Store trade strong as numbers dwindle

Joe Healy

Ironic seemed to be the word mentioned regularly when I spoke to mart managers about the trade. As one man put it: "No grass, no silage, no money, and no price for finished cattle -- yet the store trade remains quite strong."

Numbers coming out, or the lack of them, are probably having a positive effect on prices.

A very good trade, especially for outlying store bullocks, was reported from Ennis mart last Thursday. Quality store bullocks weighing from 450kg up made from €400-550 over the weight with a few top Charolais types making up to €585 over or €2.05/kg. The plainer steers ranged from €200 over.

Depending on quality, the heifers were similar to the bullocks on price. Top price/kg was €1.91/kg for a 575kg Limousine. Well fleshed continental cull cows were freely making €350-440 over with a number of heavy cows making over €1,000/hd.

Aged bulls sold for €140-610 with the weight.

Good suckler cows with a quality calf at foot made up to €1,350/hd, while in-calf sucklers made up to €1,310. Young milky looking dairy cows sold for up to €1,320/hd.

In Kilkenny mart, farmers were still quite slow to purchase stock. Numbers were a bit smaller last week.

The trade for quality bullocks and heifers was similar, but the plainer types, especially Friesians, were proving harder to sell. Continental steers >500kg made from €1.50/kg to €1.86/kg or €400-500 over. The lighter quality stock made up to €450 with the weight.

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The better continental heifers made from €1.70-1.80/kg or €400-500 over the weight. The Hereford and Angus heifers were making upwards of €130 over the weight.

Castleisland mart continues to trade large numbers of calves with almost 800 head on offer last week. The continental calves were a very good trade, with good competition between the Irish farmer and the exporter for good Belgian Blue calves.

The Belgian Blue bull calves made up to €400 while the heifers made up to €350.

Charolais bull calves sold in a range from €250-350, with the limousines selling from €200-270.

Friesian bull calves for the home market made up to €140. Those suitable for export to Spain sold from €90-120.

Macroom mart is handling a lot of calves. The younger calves destined for Holland sold for €80-100.

Calves over 35 days of age going to Spain -- representing about 10pc of the calves being exported -- sold for €100-110.

Irish Independent