Price rise of €30-50 a head seen at marts as buyers anticipate beef price improvement

Will the IFA protests outside the meat factory gates raise the price for the finished animal? Alas, my old crystal ball refuses to reveal any information. So your guess is as good as mine.

However, at the marts, the week has brought a lift in the trade. Last week’s falls have been halted.

Corrin mart manager Sean Leahy told me on Tuesday evening that he saw a price rise of €30-50 a head across the board at the cattle sale.

And I would have to agree with Sean, having been in Corrin myself.

There was certainly life in the trade, particularly for good store bullocks, stock that will be finished before the spring.

Early in the day, I spotted five smashing Limousin bullocks entering the ring, weighing 550kg, they sold for €1,240 a piece.

These cattle will be pushed on for another two to three months before finally taking a trip to the place of no return.

Clearly, in paying such a princely sum, those purchasing heavier forward stores are expecting a lift in the factory trade. They must have a better crystal ball than me.

Talking to farmers at Corrin about the IFA protests, I got a mixed response.

Naturally there were those who backed the action all the way.

But others wondered about the timing of the protest, especially with most of this year’s stock already gone to the factory.

One farmer commented, “With declining numbers going to the factory, the price can only go one way now.”

Cattle numbers at Corrin on Tuesday were back, I suspect on account of the protests.

However, there were plenty of farmers hovering around. So not every farmer felt the impulse to take up a placard this time.

Turning to Macroom mart, Saturday;s sale saw a similar trade to the previous week, with prices maintained.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 440kg 890

1 Hr steer 490 kg 1080

2 Ch steers 490kg 1050

5 Lm steers 550kg 1200

1 Lm heifer 645kg 1365

1 Sim heifer 410kg 880

1 Ch cow 645 kg 1170

With a deal of scanning under way, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of dry cows hitting the marts. This was evident in Corrin on Tuesday, and it was the same story in Skibbereen on Friday.

Skibbereen mart manager Tom McCarthy reported that dry cows were selling very well — and indeed they were, with top selling dry cows fetching €825 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks in Skibbereen sold up to €600 over the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €320 to €500 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €150 to €300 with the kilo.

Heifers in Skibbereen sold from €220 over to €665 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 520kg 1150

1 Ch steer 535kg 1100

3 AA steers 535kg 1100

3 Fr steers 521kg 800

2 Ch heifers 535kg 1200

1 AA heifer 365kg 760

2 Lm cows 865kg 1690

In Dungarvan on Monday mart manger Ger Flynn gave us this report after a good day of cattle trading.

“We had another big sale of cattle on Monday, with prices holding very well for all types of stores.”

“Inclement weather conditions are not affecting prices.”

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 642kg 1270

3 Ch steers 615kg 1190

2 Ch steers 520kg 1080

1 BB heifer 590kg 1195

4 AA heifers 437kg 920

4 Lm heifers 431kg 960

1 Lm cow 670kg 1090

Kilmallock mart after Monday’s cattle sale had once again a headline grabbing report to deliver.

The sale was ‘on fire,’ Denis Kirby’s report stated. And before some go rushing away for buckets of water, the fire referred to here is metaphorical.

The fire was a description of the passion buyers showed ringside, in their attempts to secure stock.

And in fairness to the mighty Kilmallock, yet again the mart had a large supply and variety of stock to get excited about.

Kilmallock mart had 1,749 cattle and calves on offer last Monday, and 357 buyers took part in the action.

Bullocks here made up to €2.30/kg.

Heifers hit a high of €2.30/kg.

Of dry cows, Kilmallock had 200 on offer, they went to a high of €1.56/kg.

Top weanling bulls and heifers sold for up to, and over, €3/kg.

Kilmallock had 80 lots of suckler cows on offer and, as you might expect, with their ‘rings of fire’, the sucklers sold well, with the majority in Kilmallock making between €1300 to €1760 each.

Looking in a little more detail at the suckler trade in Kilmallock, a 5 year old Limousin and her Limousin heifer calf made €1760.

A 4 year old Limousin, time up at the end of November to Belgian Blue, sold for €1550.

A 10 year old Charolais, time up at the end of March to Limousin, made €1470.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 AA steers 384kg 800

5 Ch steers 358kg 750

4 Hr steers 389kg 740

1 BB steer 330kg 720

1 Lm heifer 335kg 750

3 AA heifers 337kg 650

1 Hr heifer 775kg 1230

Next we turn to Bandon on Monday where dry cows made from €150 under the kilo to €340 with the kilo.

Heifers in Bandon sold from €260 to €690 with their weight.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Ch steers 765kg 1320

3 Lm steers 438kg 950

6 AA steers 529kg 1000

7 Fr steers 543kg 895

2 Hr heifers 380kg 760

1 Ch heifer 780kg 1470

1 Fr cow 785kg 1125

In Bandon, continental bullocks sold from €440 to €650 over the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €420 to €550 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €150 to €560 with the kilo.

Looking at Tuesday’s weanling sale in Kilkenny, mart manager George Candler had this to report.

“We had a small sale of weanlings on today Tuesday but with a sharper trade than last week”. Turning the clock back to last Thursday, George was the first man to mention the rise in price for the forward store. George as always, is ahead of the posse.

“We had a somewhat smaller sale of cattle in Kilkenny on Thursday. The trade remained firm with a definite lift in forward store and beef type bullocks and heifers. It looks as if we have reached the peak regarding numbers with a possible decrease on a weekly basis between now and Christmas.”

In Kilkenny on Thursday, Friesian cull cows made from €1.05 to €1.75/kg. Continental cull cows sold from €1.35 to €1.95 with the kilo.

Kilkenny

Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 695kg 1550

4 BB steers 645kg 1460

3 AA steers 560kg 1205

10 Ch steers 495kg 1145

1 Fr steer 430kg 710

3 AA heifers 590kg 1145

Finally, Kanturk mart, where Michael Scanlon had this report on Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had an outstanding entry of top quality cattle and they met with an outstanding trade, making up to €600 over the kg.

“Friesian bullocks were also in great demand with plenty of competition at ringside, and 150 cull cows made up to €600 over the kg.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Fr steers 525kg 900

2 Ch steers 505kg 1105

1 Lm steer 430kg 960

3 Hr steers 405kg 835

5 Hr heifers 425kg 745


Lifestyle

As UK legend John Surman gets ready to play at Cork’s jazz fest, he tells Philip Watson about his well-travelled career and why he’s so angry about Brexit.Jazz legend John Surman on a well travelled career and why he's angry about Brexit

Dr Naomi Lavelle answers a weekly science question.Fish live in water all their lives but does that mean that they never get thirsty or do they even drink at all? To answer these questions we need to look at where the fish live.Appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty?

More From The Irish Examiner