Cattle mart report: Plainer weanling prices get extra boost from strong farmer demand at ringside

Last week, I complained here that I could hardly go to a mart, because of the fine weather.

This week, I was complaining that I could hardly go to the mart because of the miserable conditions.

But as we approach the end of the week, the weather has improved.

If the mart trade was as topsy-turvy as the weather, we wouldn’t know where to turn, or what to do.

Thankfully, the mart scene at present is as steady as a rock.

In spite of dark clouds overshadowing the meat factory trade, in the marts, it’s a case of clear skies and sunshine.

I went to Castleisland on Monday, a mart renowned for its weanling sales, and on Monday it didn’t disappoint.

Talking to Jimmy Roche and Ger Carmody of Castleisland Mart, they told me that there is a strong farmer demand for weanlings this year, with stiff competition at the ringside for exporters.

And talking to farmers selling weanlings on Monday, they mentioned that the price for Charolais weanlings was similar to last year, but there was a stronger demand for the plainer weanling this year.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Sim steer 488kg 1100

2 Hr steers 491kg 1130

2 Lm heifers 322kg 835

2 Lm steers 400kg 1010

1 BB heifer 620kg 1405

1 Lm cow 750kg 1350

1 Fr cow 800kg 1280

High rainfall in Kilmallock on Monday morning had no watering down affect on the cattle trade, according to Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart.

On Monday, weanlings were making up to €3.62 per kilo. “An electric trade,” and “on fire” were just some of the quotes overheard at the mart, Denis said. So perhaps, in the end, the heavy rainfall was of benefit, in preventing the whole place from going up in flames.

Kilmallock Mart had a weanling show and sale on Monday, with over 200 weanlings on offer. And similar to Castleisland, Denis said farmers were the main buyers. There will be a weanling sale in Kilmallock every Monday for the remainder of the year.

Kilmallock mart had over 600 bullocks on offer, and they made up to €2.63 per kg. Heifers hit a high of €2.48 per kg, with dry cows making up to €2.06 per kg.

Looking at dairy stock, a 3 year old calved heifer sold for €1,160. A 2 year old calved heifer made €1,150. A 9 year old calved cow made €1,000, while a 5 year old calved cow sold for €1,000.

Looking at factory bulls, a Limousin bull weighing 555kg made €1,290, and a Shorthorn weighing 715kg made €1,100.

In suckling, a 3 year old Charolais cow and her Limousin heifer calf made €1,560. A 2 year old Simmental and her Limousin heifer calf made €1,440. A 2 year old Aberdeen Angus and her Aberdeen Angus heifer calf made €1,080.



No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Lm steers 384kg 1010

5 Hr steers 395kg 925

5 AA steers 367kg 850

5 Ch steers 332kg 830

6 Fr steers 395kg 760

3 Lm cows 320kg 795

1 Fr cow 455kg 790

With such a mixed bag of weather, many of course are wondering what conditions on the ground will be like in Laois at the Ploughing next week. Today I have my old crystal ball in my hand, and I can predict, with great accuracy and certainty, the future of many things. Starting with the weather, for the week ahead it will be a mainly dry affair, with sunny conditions prevailing over Laois, Wednesday being a particularly sunny day. So, good news there.

And with the ball still in hand and looking at the mart trade, here’s what I see happening for the remainder of 2015. I predict that the stability in the cattle trade with continue right up until Christmas, but after that, as I look ahead into next year, my ball seems to be a little cloudy. But never mind, for the short term at least, it’s full steam ahead. The promise of a nice chunk of CAP payments in October will obviously help ease the pressure and keep the cattle trade stable.

Speaking of CAP payments, and while not wanting to bite the hand that feeds me, it will be interesting to see in October if a fairer distribution of payments will occur, after all the talk and promises.

It never seemed right that some in farming had been forced to survive on crumbs for many years, while others feasted royally.

Will we discover in October that there is equality within the CAP, or will we still be in a situation where, to paraphrase George Orwell, “All farmers are equal, but some farmers are more equal than others?”

Anyway, back to business, in Bandon mart on Monday, mart manager Tom McCarthy reported, “Better calves met a better trade”. As an example, runner type bull calves (including some Friesian bull calves) made up to €550 a head. Bandon mart had 100 calves on offer on Monday, with extra buyers at the ringside.

Dry cows in Bandon on Monday sold from €130 to €605 with their weight. Heifers in Bandon made from €300 to €670 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Bandon sold from €250 to €540 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €350 to €700 with the kilo. Continental bullocks in Bandon made from €400 to €1,000 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 BB steer 870kg 1860

3 Ch steers 455kg 1090

4 Hr steers 547kg 1130

7 Fr steers 659kg 1160

3 Hr heifers 418kg 890

1 AA cow 725kg 1330

1 Fr cow 700kg 1220

In Macroom mart on Saturday, dry cows sold from €120 to €500 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks made from €200 to €670 over the kilo.

Continental bullocks sold from €230 to €820 over the kilo, heifers sold from €255 to €670 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 AA steer 490kg 1160

3 Hr steers 445kg 975

2 Lm steers 620kg 1440

1 Lm steer 445kg 1220

1 Lm heifer 545kg 1215

1 Lm heifer 430kg 1020

1 AA cow 760kg 1260

Next we turn to Dungarvan mart where on Monday last, mart manager Ger Flynn gave us this report. “We had bigger numbers on offer, with a very good sale despite the inclement weather. Prices holding well for quality lots of store bulls and heifers.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 595kg 1310

9 Ch steers 604kg 1295

2 Lm bulls 632kg 1370

2 Lm heifers 467kg 1110

1 Lm heifer 510kg 1130

1 Fr cow 825kg 1370

1 Fr cow 720kg 1205

Turning next to Thurles mart, where mart manager Martin Ryan gave us this report after Monday’s cattle sale. “Numbers were well up, perhaps affected by the bad weather on Monday. Prices down a little for poorer quality traditional breeds. Friesians held up well.”

“We had a very low supply of cull cows on offer, but that could all change from dairy herds in a month or six weeks.”



No ‘‘ Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 462kg 1080

5 Fr steers 456kg 825

2 Lm steers 470kg 1205

2 Hr steers 507kg 1050

1 BB steer 480kg 1090

3 AA heifer 386kg 810

7 Ch heifers 425kg 895

Corrin mart on Tuesday had 800 cattle on offer.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 639kg 1345

8 Fr steers 390kg 760

4 BB steers 455kg 1050

2 Ch heifers 660kg 1510

3 Hr heifers 398kg 820

4 AA heifers 390kg 810

1 Fr cow 864kg 1460

Mart manager Sean Leahy reported a very large sale, and a strong trade overall.

Store bullocks in Corrin made from €240 to €530 over the kilo, with forward bullocks making up to €740.

On Tuesday, store heifers in Corrin made from €280 to €460 with butcher types making up to €850 with the kilo.

Dry cows in Corrin sold from €600 to €1,460 a head.

Finally for this week, we go to Kanturk Mart where, after Tuesday’s cattle mart, manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us this report.

“We had 500 top class animals on offer at today’s sale, with a fantastic trade at the ringside.

“We were honoured to have special guests UTV Ireland filming for their Rare Breed programme. I’ll bet they found a few rare breeds up there in Kanturk, both inside and outside the ring!

Kanturk Mart’s weanling show and sale for spring-born weanlings will be held on September 29, sponsored by Boherbue Co-Op Creameries.

Prizes to the value of €2,500 will be on offer on the day.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 605kg 1320

1 Lm steer 547kg 1190

6 Sim steers 575kg 1165

3 Fr steers 616kg 1090

1 Hr heifer 620kg 1180

1 Hr heifer 470kg 1350


Five things for the week ahead with Des O'Driscoll.Five things for the week ahead

From Liverpool’s beat-pop to Bristol’s trip-hop, Irish writer Karl Whitney explains the distinctive musical output of individual cities in the UK, writes Marjorie Brennan.Sounds of the City: The musical output of individual UK cities

As landlords’ enclosures of villages and commonages during England’s industrial revolution drove landless countrymen into the maws of the poet William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills”, a romantic nostalgia for the countryside began to grow.Damien Enright: Great writers took inspiration from walking

Take no risks, ‘do all the right things’, and you’ll lead a comfortable, but dull, existence. ‘Living dangerously’, on the other hand, yields ‘highs’ of excitement usually followed, alas, by pain andRichard Collins: Live fast and die young or last up to 500 years

More From The Irish Examiner