Cattle mart report: Weanling heifers and bulls make good prices as sellers have upper hand at marts

I doubt if there is a sinkhole under the town of Macroom. For if there was, it would surely have opened up last Saturday afternoon, when Macroom Mart had one hell of a weighty sale.

It was an impressive sight to behold. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the mart had well over 500 tons of beef resting snugly under its roof.

Certainly, the exceptional year of grazing was evident, a year in which 18 month old Friesian bullocks are coming in close to 600kg.

It has been a year where cattle have plumped up to an exceptional degree, the result of which is now testing the foundations of every mart in the land.

On Saturday, Macroom held a show and sale for weanling stock. Mart manager John O’Mahony gave us the details.

“We had a good sale of cattle and weanlings here last Saturday. It was our second weanling show and sale, which was met with a great demand from shippers and farmers at ringside, resulting in an almost full clearance.”

In Macroom on Saturday, dry cows sold from €50 to €595 with their weight. Heifers made from €210 to €650 with the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €200 to €615 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €230 to €690 with the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 AA steer 545kg 1160

4 Hr steers 525kg 1060

1 Lm steer 610kg 1300

5 Ch steers 575kg 1215

2 Lm heifers 490kg 1120

1 Hr heifer 430kg 1080

1 Ch cow 745kg 1340

In Bandon on Monday the calf seller had ‘reasons to be cheerful,’ to quote Ian Dury.

With autumn born calves now appearing at the mart, the story for buyers is unfortunately as depressing as ever.

You couldn’t get a Friesian bull calf of any description for under €120 in Bandon on Monday. And if you had an eye on an Aberdeen Angus heifer, you’d need €200 and upwards in your pocket before attempting to catch the eye of auctioneer Denis Cullinane.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bulls born this September went from €300 and upwards.

Continental bull calves were so expensive that it upsets me too much to even quote you a price.

You are just going to have to use your imagination. Needless to say, the calf seller is in the driver’s seat, and the shoe is firmly down.

Dry cows in Bandon on Monday sold from €100 to €650 with their weight. Heifers in Bandon made from €300 to €700 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €300 to €550 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €400 to €650 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €450 to €800 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 815kg 1600

2 Ch steers 650kg 1300

7 Hr steers 648kg 1200

6 Fr steers 466kg 855

3 Lm heifers 525kg 1250

1 Sim cow 675kg 1320

1 AA cow 700kg 1280

With the volume of cattle in the marts on the increase, I got the impression over the week that buyers have become a bit choosy, with perhaps the plainer animal, namely our old friend the Friesian bullock, suffering a little as a result. And this was something also spotted by Kanturk mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe, who gave us this report from the well regarded north Cork venue after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had a large sale here on Tuesday with 890 animals on offer, with a lot of female animals coming out due to the lifting of brucellosis regulations. All cattle maintained their prices, but Friesian bullocks were a bit easier from last week.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 625kg 1170

1 Lm steer 525kg 1120

3 BB steers 503kg 1090

5 Ch steers 502kg 1090

7 Hr steers 495kg 1035

1 AA heifer 745kg 1350

1 Ch heifer 520kg 1030

Across in Skibbereen mart on Friday last, dry cows sold from €50 to €675 with their weight. Heifers in Skibbereen made from €215 to €720 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €210 to €480 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €220 to €630 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €235 to €770 with the kilo.

Also in Skibbereen, suckler cows with calves at foot sold up to €1,630.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 650kg 1350

3 Ch steers 456kg 1140

6 Hr steers 500kg 1050

2 Ch heifers 507kg 1160

1 BB heifer 700kg 1420

1 Ch cow 755kg 1430

1 Sim cow 660kg 1250

We turn next to Thurles mart in Co Tipperary, where mart manager Martin Ryan provided us with this following report.

“We had large numbers on offer with some great store cattle making too much for the man buying them, and not enough for the man selling them,” he said.

“We had massive clearance with little or nothing going home. We also had a small number of sucklers on offer that made good money, but not enough to classify it as a barometer of the trade.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

9 Lm steers 416kg 970

5 Hr steers 425kg 1000

7 Fr steers 440kg 770

4 Lm steers 476kg 1175

2 Ch heifers 425kg 1040

3 AA heifers 393kg 790

3 Hr heifers 368kg 780

Dungarvan mart had a “big sale of cattle with good prices” said mart manager Ger Flynn after Monday’s cattle sale.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Lm steers 605kg 1405

5 Lm steers 648kg 1385

2 Ch heifers 593kg 1140

1 BB heifer 520kg 1025

1 Hr cow 790kg 1310

1 Hr cow 660kg 1145

1 Fr cow 750kg 1070

With over 1,400 stock on offer “a very lively sale at Kilmallock” was the report Denis Kirby gave us after Monday’s cattle sale. “The weanling trade is a flyer with bulls making up to €3.43 per kg and heifers hitting €3.09 per kg,” Denis said.

Bullocks in Kilmallock made up to €2.46 per kg. Heifers went to a high of €2.47 per kg. Dry cows hit €1.87 per kg.

Looking at dairy stock, a 3 year old calved cow sold for €1,480 in Kilmallock. A 2 year old calved heifer made €1260.

In the suckling ring a 3 year old Charolais and her Limousin bull calf made €1,760. A 9 year old Limousin and her Limousin bull calf sold for €1680, while a 2 year old Hereford and her Hereford bull calf made €1,440.

Looking at bulls with a one way ticket to the meat factory, a Friesian weighing 1025kg sold for €1,650, while a Friesian weighing 805kg made €1,200.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Hr steers 380kg 830

1 AA steer 395kg 820

2 Fr steers 390kg 780

1 BB steer 745kg 1445

4 Hr heifers 341kg 700

3 AA heifers 318kg 680

3 Lm heifers 287kg 640

Sean Leahy, manager of Corrin mart, reported an “excellent trade for bullocks, with a very strong demand for all weights and types of bullock,” at Tuesday’s cattle sale.

Corrin had 1,200 cattle on offer with store bullocks in Corrin selling from €220 to €460 over the kilo, with forward bullocks making up to €720 with their weight.

On Tuesday store heifers in Corrin made from €260 to €440 over, with butcher types making up to €675 with the kilo.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Sim steer 680kg 1465

5 Lm steers 495kg 1210

7 AA steers 595kg 1135

2 AA heifers 496kg 990

2 Hr heifers 560kg 1140

2 Lm heifers 496kg 1155

1 BB cow 760kg 1560


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