There are three stages in flying, if you ask me.
There’s take-off, landing, and that spell spent cruising.
That spell spent cruising at 35,000 feet, when an air hostess might tempt you to a cup of overpriced coffee, and if you are feeling flush with money, a Mars bar too.
What the heck. You only live once. Splash out.
So there you are on top of the world (literally), having a bit of what you fancy. Things don’t get much better.
You close your eyes, stretch out your feet (under the seat in front of you) and sip a coffee brewed by an angel.
This is exactly where I believe our mart trade is at present. And I don’t mean we are up in the air with angelic air hostesses, I mean we are living in cloud cuckoo land.
Our mart trade is flying high for reasons even I cannot fathom (and I have a very active imagination).
In Macroom on Saturday, bullocks, particularly strong stores of the 450kg to 600kg range, were making €2/kg and more with ease.
‘Out-wintered stock?’ you ask.
Out-wintered, in-wintered, whether the animal spent Christmas under the old oak tree, or with yourself by the fireside, the price was the same.
If an animal showed any promise at all, €2/kg was being thrown.
Across the board, housed or outlier, it mattered little to the men with the money.
Cattle are in serious demand at the mart, it’s as simple as that.
And while we are cruising at the mart, word on the ground, namely at the factory, is that our landing gear is still a bit hit-and-miss (mostly miss).
We might be cruising now, but don’t be surprised if there’s a bumpy landing at the end of the journey.
The landing has been bumpy in our business with the past three years.
Anyway, we will worry about the landing gear another day, for now let’s just sit back and enjoy the flight.
So buckle up, and we will begin our look at the cattle trade.
Bandon mart on Monday had 300 calves on offer.
Friesian bulls sold for €60 to €160 a head.
Friesian heifers made from €160 to €240.
Kilmallock mart had 900 stock on offer on Monday.
And with the big numbers came the big money, said Denis Kirby.
“There was a very strong demand from 155 farmers and export buyers here on Monday.
“Prices are well ahead of this time last year, in particular for lighter stock.”
Bullocks in Kilmallock sold for up to €2.39 per kg.
Weanlings bulls hit €2.70 per kg.
Dry cows (Kilmallock had 160 on offer) sold for up to €1100 a head, or €1.64 per kg.
Heifers here made up to €2.70 per kg.
Up to €400 was paid in the calf ring (the price for a six-week-old Hereford bull).
A clearance sale of dairy stock sold for up to €1,550 each.
Next Monday, the mart will have yet another dairy clearance sale.
This time, it’s 33 Friesian in-calf cows for James Murnane, Ballysimon, Co Limerick.
This clearance sale will start at 12 noon.
The snowfall failed to halt the cattle demand at Kanturk mart on Tuesday, as Michael Scanlon of Kanturk mart reports.
“We had over 400 cattle at Tuesday’s sale.
A very big number considering the weather conditions in the area.
“A flying trade for all cattle with great demand at a packed ringside.”
Geraldine Walsh of Clare Co-Op Marts gave us this report following last Thursday’s cattle mart in Ennis.
“We had a fine sized sale again on Thursday with over 500 cattle on offer. 180 cull cows available, mostly continental types. Trade for these was very strong yet again, with some Northern activity for these also.
“Again, the trade in the bullock ring was strong, with more forward type cattle available today.
Trade marginally improved in the heifer ring.
“A handful of aged bulls on show, and a top call of €1,960 achieved for a Charolais bull of 1,030kg.”
Dungarvan mart manager, Ger Flynn, gave us this report after Monday’s cattle sale. “We had a very good demand for quality stores, prices are holding very well.”
1 Fr cow 670kg 840
In Skibbereen on Friday, cows sold from €65 under to €545 with the kilo.
Bullocks sold from €180 to €615 with the kilo.
Continental bullocks made from €300 to €650 with the kilo.
Heifers sold from €160 to €675 with the kilo.
Weanling heifers sold from €195 to €465 with the kilo.
Weanling bulls sold from €200 to €575 with the kilo.
Finally for this week, we head to Castleisland mart and to Richard Neligan.
“By now our sales are in full swing again with prices having kept up or surpassed last year’s closing levels.
It was well worth keeping the stock until the new year.
“We had a lively trade for weanlings here on Monday with all types of stock making exceptional money.”
1 Hr cow 476kg 790