Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Trade remains buoyant with buyers active for markets home and abroad

Over quota dairy farmers results in calf scarcity while weanling sales remain ultra-competitive at the ring-side

Joe Healy

Mart trade was again strong everywhere over the past week with price improvements of €10-50/hd reported. Buyers for the home market and exporting were extremely active.

Calves are scarce as not only are quite a few dairy farmers holding onto their young calves but they are in many cases out buying in extra calves to drink milk in order to reduce the potential hefty super-levy bill.

Any reasonable quality cattle are making €2/kg upwards with reports showing that even good sorts of Friesians are in some instances making up to €2/kg. The trade for the weanlings remains very competitive with top-of-the-range stock making up to and over €3/kg, while the solid continental farmers' types are generally ranging from €2.10-2.50/kg.

A good sound trade was the description for the 500 cattle sold at Ballinakill Mart, with lively competition from a large number of buyers. Heavy steers were selling for €1.88-2.30/kg. Forward stores sold for €1.75-2.46/kg, with the lighter stores making €1.80-2.75/kg.

Beef heifers made €1.85-2.32/kg. Stores sold for €1.70-2.35/kg. Prices for weanling bulls ran from €1.90 to €2.95/kg.

The best of the heavy bulls over 600kg were making €600-1,000 with their weight at Raphoe Mart, where beef bullocks sold for €670-935 over. Stores made €305-790 over the €1/kg. Well-fleshed heifers were selling for €320-870 over, with stores making €280-610 with the weight. Heavy continental cull cows made up to €1,680, while cows for further feeding sold back to €600.

Kilkenny reported a very good trade for their smaller sale of 870 cattle. Heavy steers were making €2-2.25/kg. The 400-600kg steers sold for €2.05-2.50, with Angus cross and good Friesians making €1.80-2/kg. Lighter stores ranged from €2.04 to €2.44/kg, with a top price of €2.74/kg paid when a 390kg Limousin bullock made €1,070.

In the heifer section the continental beef types were selling for €2.10-2.39/kg. Herefords made up to €1.84/kg. Butcher heifers made €1.85-2.11/kg.

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Balla Mart on Saturday had 1,154 cattle on offer with 1,053 weanlings at Tuesday's sale. The steers averaged €2.07-2.49/kg. Heavy types made €2-2.26/kg. Stores sold from €2.11-2.49/kg. Trade for heifers was stronger than recently with prices up €10-20/hd. Cows with a calf at foot were making from €1,100-1,580/unit.

All the major export buyers were in attendance and competing with local and midland farmers at the weanling sale. Bulls sold from €1.94-2.70/kg, selling for €430-706 over the €1/kg. The heifers made €315-525 over their weight.

Trade was up from the previous week for the 860 cattle on offer at Dowra Mart on Saturday last with the forward store bullocks making from €450-800 with the weight, while the under 500kg lots made from €400-700 with the €1/kg.

Weanling bulls over 500kg sold from €400-750 along with their weight. Lighter bulls made from €300-650 over. Weanling heifers were selling from €250 to €650 over, with a few choice lots making up to €750 over. A special entry of 100 good quality in-calf heifers will be on offer at next Saturday's sale.

There were 850 cattle on offer at Carnew with a very strong selling trade. Beef cattle were improved by €20-30/hd and making €600-1,020 over the weight. Stores made €300-720 over. Fleshed heifers were selling for €450-810 with the weight, while the stores made €320-620 over the €1/kg. Weanling bulls made €320-750 over.

Continental suck bull calves were selling from €400-500 at Wexford Farmers' Mart. Heifers made €320-415. Friesian bulls sold for €150-280. Angus and Hereford heifers made €240-420, with the bulls selling for €250-450.

Calved dairy heifers made €1,120-1,360. Calved dairy cows sold for €750-1,300. Suckler cows with a calf at foot were making €1,100-1,350/unit, with the in-calf heifers selling up to €1,350. Beef bullocks sold for €600-850 over the weight. Stores made €350-750 over.

Indo Farming