Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

Strong trade evident as good prices paid for quality cattle

Forward stores and heifers still secure the best prices

Joe Healy

The mart trade remains strong for cattle with most of the Continental steers and heifers selling below the €2/kg mark.

Farmers selling weanling bulls of 350kg have €700 as a minimum figure to sell at, with a price range of €500 to over €650 for the 300kg weanling heifer. Steer and heifer prices were firm, especially for the better quality lots with some marts reporting improvement of around €20/hd to prices.

Kilkenny Mart had 900hd for sale. Quality lots sold well but plainer types were proving a little harder to move as the bigger numbers were allowing the buyers to be selective. The heavy beef continental steers were making €1.90-2.13/kg or up to €835 over their weight.

Heavy Friesians made up to €1.81/kg. Forward stores made €1.65-2.21/kg. Continental steers under 500kg were selling for €2.10-2.50/kg. Beef heifers made €2-2.32/kg, with butcher types making €1.80-2.18/kg. Stores made €1.60-2.23/kg. Prices for the cull Continental cows ran from €1.25-1.89/kg, while Friesian cows made €1-1.50/kg. Suckler cows with a calf at foot made €1,100-1,350/unit.

Trade at Ballinakill was a bit quieter all round, with fewer of the crazy prices. Good quality stores between 400kg and 500kg are still the best sellers in both bullocks and heifers. Dry cows are still a lively trade ,making between €1-1.82/kg. Fleshy bullocks sold from €1.80-2.25/kg. Forward stores made €1.90-2.40/kg, with the lighter stores selling for €1.68-2.35/kg. Weanling bulls traded for €1.90-2.30/kg, with the heifers selling at €1.60-2.05/kg. Beef heifers were selling for €1.85-2.15/kg, while store heifers moved at €1.65-2.10/kg.

Bullocks over 600kg were making from €600-800 with their weight at Ballymote Mart. Forward stores made €500-700 over, with the lighter steers selling for €400-600 over the €1/kg. Heavy heifers were making €500-725 with their weight. Stores made €450-650 over, while heifers suitable for breeding sold for €500-700 over the €1/kg. Weanling bull prices ranged from €700 to €960, with the heifers selling for €460-795 each. Springers made from €1,200-2,200. Cull cows sold from €1,060-1,532. Overall, the average price of cattle was up by €190 on last year.

Quality bulls over 600kg made €450-965 over the weight up in Raphoe. Beef bullocks sold from €425 to €900 over. Stores ranged from €300 to €675 over the €1/kg. Beef heifers made €420-695 with the weight, while the stores sold for €300-610 over the weight. Cull cow prices ran from €1,785 for the tops back to €600.


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At the calf sale in Enniscorthy, the Continental bulls were making €350-500, with the heifers selling for €300-420. Friesian bull calves made €160-320. Hereford and Angus bulls sold for €180-420, with the heifers making €170-400 each.

Beef bullocks were making €550-800 over their weight. Stores made €350-745 over. In the heifer ring, the beef and butcher types were selling for €370-655 with the weight, while the stores were making €240-645 with the €1/kg. Cull cows made €100-600 over.

Dowra Mart had 420 cattle on offer last Saturday. Trade was stronger than previous weeks. Heavy weanling bulls made from €500-900 over the weight, while the lighter sorts made €300-600 over. Weanling heifers made from €300 to €550 over, with forward store heifers making from €400-650 over. The best of the cull cows sold from €350 over right up to €700 over, while older plainer types made from €100-350 over.

The average price for the 1,144 cattle on offer at Balla Mart was €230/hd up on this time last year. Good quality heavy bullocks made from €320-820 with their weight.

Forward stores made €500-910 over the weight. Heifers were up €20/hd for the quality lots. Cows with a calf at foot made €1,150-1,885, while cull cows made from €340 to €770 with the weight.

Indo Farming