Cattle marts report: Steady sales as marts drive on, at a safe remove from global economic upheavals

The mad cow, the rain, the thunder, even the Greeks voting no, nothing it seems can put the breaks on the runaway train that is the high flying cattle trade.
Cattle marts report: Steady sales as marts drive on, at a safe remove from global economic upheavals

Cattle in general, from the calf to the store, are €100 a head up on last year’s prices. And while all this buoyancy, confidence and stability in the marts might sound just dandy, you have to ask yourself, well I do anyway, what’s going to be the story come next year?

With so many expensively purchased cattle staying put on home turf, could the cattle trade slip south in 2016 leading us once more back to the land of tears and sorrow.

I put this question of my concerns about the future to Seamus O’Keeffe of Kanturk mart recently and this was his response.

“A fellow can be worried enough about what might happen next week, never mind what might happen next year,” he said.

And of course, as always, Seamus was right.

So I’ll say no more on the matter today, except to point out, if the cattle trade does indeed turn into a Greek tragedy in the middle of 2016, remember your old pal Lehane was one of the first to point out the dangers that could lie ahead.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 AA steer 585kg 1340

6 Ch steers 512kg 1290

4 Lm steers 418kg 1180

1 Lm heifer 475kg 1150

3 Hr heifers 458kg 1030

4 Lm heifers 415kg 1040

1 Fr cow 805kg 1460

And so to business we go, and to Dungarvan where after Monday’s cattle sale mart manager, Ger Flynn, gave us this report, “we had a big increase in cattle numbers. The trade is holding well for all types of quality stores, with an excellent dry cow trade.”

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 370kg 790

3 AA steers 540kg 1220

2 Ch steers 535kg 1335

1 Sim steer 590kg 1450

1 BB heifer 570kg 1270

2 Ch heifers 475kg 1130

1 Lm cow 735kg 1530

It’s to Macroom mart we go next, where on Saturday dry cows sold from €150 to €795 over the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €170 to €555 over the kilo.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks made from €200 to €755 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €265 to €945 over the kilo. While heifers sold from €210 to €700 with the kilo.

The smartest farmers this year, I feel, were those plucky fellows who purchased calves way back in early February and March, (back then good Friesian bulls were selling from €80 to €120, with good Aberdeen Angus calves averaging around €200).

These farmers were a bit like the former Greek Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, they got on their bike before the real sums had to be done.

The early bird purchased his calf for sensible money back then, while the rest of us waited in vain like the French at the Maginot Line. We waited for our chance to pounce, but alas our chance to pounce never came.

We had a strong belief that the abolition of milk quotas in April would lead to the complete collapse of the calf market. So we waited for the bargains. But alas, in April the price of calves rose, if you don’t mind.

And for the last three months, the little four legged fellow has remained nice and popular, leaving many of us fuming that we didn’t go early like the plucky farmers and Mr Varoufakis.

And so to Bandon mart we turn next, where on Monday even with calf numbers now clearly in decline (Bandon had 290 calves on offer on Monday), the trade remains as strong as it did on that first week of April.

In Bandon on Monday dry cows made from €200 to €750 with the kilo. Continental bullocks in Bandon sold from €500 up to €1,000 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €500 to €800 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks at Bandon mart sold from €320 to €780 with the kilo. Heifers on Monday sold from €420 to €800 with their weight.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 705kg 1700

2 Hr steers 482kg 1080

6 Fr steers 460kg 910

1 Ch heifer 660kg 1460

3 AA heifers 326kg 930

1 BB heifer 430kg 1195

1 Lm cow 760kg 1480

Next we go to Kilkenny mart where mart manager George Candler gave us this report, “we had a bigger sale of cattle on last Thursday with all cattle are still meeting a super trade. We had over 110 cull cows on offer with a complete clearance and excellent prices for excellent stock.”

And looking at the cull cows in Kilkenny, Friesian cull cows sold from €1.40 to €2.05 per kilo, with continental cull cows selling from €1.70 to €2.35 per kilo.

Kilkenny

Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 550kg 1400

5 Hr steers 400kg 1110

7 Fr steers 370kg 830

4 AA steers 315kg 740

7 Lm heifers 380kg 1100

1 BB heifer 300kg 830

2 Hr heifer 365kg 820

“We had another outstanding sale of cattle here on Monday,” Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart reported. Kilmallock mart had over 1000 stock on offer on Monday last, with many sellers tempted by good prices to move cattle early. “Some sellers are telling us that they are selling stock now that they had planned to keep until September or October,” Denis explained.

Bullocks on Monday made up to €3.33/kg, with a top price of €1,845 paid for a Limousin bullock weighing 815kg. Dry cows in Kilmallock hit a high of €2.41/kg, with heifers hitting €2.71/kg.

Looking at dairy stock, a four-year-old calved cow made €1,470; a two-year-old calved heifer sold for €1,360. A two-year-old heifer springing down to Aberdeen Angus made €1,300.

Also in Kilmallock mart, in suckling, one eight-year-old Limousin and her Limousin bull calf sold for €1,710. While a six-yearold Hereford and her Limousin heifer calf made €1,420.

And switching to the male of the species, an Aberdeen Angus bull made €1,700 in Kilmallock on Monday.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 383kg 895

1 Hr steer 360kg 885

3 Fr steers 377kg 750

2 Ch steers 523kg 1190

1 AA heifer 550kg 1200

1 Sim heifer 505kg 1180

3 Hr heifers 420kg 980

And so it’s to Thurles mart we go next where mart manager Martin Ryan had the latest news on the cattle scene there. “The great trade for cattle continues with strong Northern buying and stronger more forward cattle on offer. Numbers on offer here on Monday were very high for this time of year.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 535kg 1355

6 Fr steers 317kg 650

5 Hr steers 337kg 870

4 AA steers 498kg 1130

1 Shx steer 635kg 1370

2 Ch heifers 355kg 940

2 AA heifers 308kg 775

And finally for this week we go to Kanturk, where after Tuesday’s cattle sale mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us a favourable report.

“We had a big demand for the time of the year with 500 animals, including 180 calves, on offer. Prices remain the same as last week with store heifers in fierce demand.”

Kanturk will host a show and sale for autumn born weanlings, Tuesday, July 28. Categories for autumn born weanlings include Limousin, Charolais, Belgian Blue, Simmental, mixed class. There will also be a prize for best pen of weanlings. The fun starts in Kanturk at 11am with €2,500 in prize money up for grabs.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 610kg 1450

1 Fr steer 615kg 1290

6 AA steers 520kg 1140

9 Hr heifer 482kg 1180

1 Lm heifer 530kg 1230

1 Fr cow 695kg 1020

1 Ch cow 630kg 1230

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