Cattle marts: Demand from feedlot buyers helps to insulate mart trade from bad weather

We experienced more than our fair share of moisture at the start of the week.

We had a shower here on Sunday morning that lasted until Monday afternoon.

But at least we can console ourselves with the fact that it’s fields of cattle we have, and not fields of grain.

And with temperatures still on the high side, the rain isn’t of the perishing variety, thankfully. Cattle for the most part are shaking it off, rather than shaking in the corner.

So lets not be getting too bogged down, instead let’s be like Hillary Clinton and keep that sunny side out, let’s keep that hand waving in spite of our current difficulties.

After all, it’s less than a week now to the Ploughing, and there is no better place to be to take our minds off our woes than at the ploughing. A bit like the Foreign Legion, many of us go there to forget.

Anyway, before we forget, we will turn our attention to the marts. Did this wet weather have an affect on the cattle trade the week?

That was the first question I put to Thurles mart manager, Martin Ryan, when I spoke to him after Monday’s cattle sale.

“I don’t believe that the weather had any significant affect on the trade here on Monday. The size of the sale is not as driven by the weekend’s weather as before.

“Monday’s sale saw the return of the feedlot buyers, snapping up lots fitting their specifications.” (These specifications were Angus and Hereford heifers around the 470kg mark. Bullocks about 500kg).

The average price paid in Thurles on Monday for Angus and Hereford heifers between 400-500kg was €1.92/kg, with continental heifers making €2.33/kg. Bullocks between 400-500kg on Monday averaged €1.75/kg for Friesian types, €2.03/kg for Angus and Hereford, with an average of €2.33/kg paid for continental bullocks.

Martin added that Monday also saw the mart’s largest heifer sale for a number of years, “with prices up across a number of weight ranges.”

And looking at the marts weanling sale on Wednesday, Martin had this to add.

“At the moment, it is mainly farmer finishers buying stronger weanling lots, it’s still early days.”

Strong continental bull weanlings in Thurles on Wednesday of 440-520kg were making €2.30 to €2.4/kg.

As for the lighter weanling, Martin told me, “It’s all farmer buyers right now. We are seeing very small numbers of heifer weanlings at the moment. We won’t really see an increase here in numbers until after the Ploughing Championships.

“And we won’t be holding a weanling sale here next Wednesday, due to the Ploughing.”

Thurles

Monday

1 Ch steer 550kg 1335

2 Lm steers 562kg 1440

5 Ch steers 485kg 1165

6 Fr steers 458kg 835

6 AA steers 429kg 890

3 Lm heifers 483kg 1060

1 Fr cow 685kg 950

In Macroom mart on Saturday, when auctioneer Noel Corcoran brought down the hammer at €950 on a weanling heifer, my daughter Denise turned to me, and asked “Why don’t you get €950 for an animal?”

“That, my dear,” I said, “is the million dollar question.”

Quality, of course, may well be the answer, but I felt it was best not to burden the poor girl with the truth.

In Macroom on Saturday, weanling heifers sold from €275 to €580 with the kilo. Weanling bulls here sold from €280 to €635 with their weight.

On Saturday, dry cows made from €125 under to €595 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold up to €535 over their weight. Continental bullocks sold from €295 to €655 over the euro per kilo. Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €235 to €590 over the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 400kg 890

5 Hr steers 450kg 930

2 Lm steers 410kg 900

4 Ch steers 415kg 950

2 Hr heifers 500kg 1030

1 Lm Cow 575kg 1175

1 Hr cow 685kg 1030

Kilmallock mart on Monday had 1100 stock on offer, and 227 buyers were in attendance, with the trade according to Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart being “very strong for quality stock.”

Bullocks here sold for up to €2.41 per kg. Heifers went to a high of €2.43 per kg. Dry cows sold for up to €1.66 per kg. Weanling bulls hit a high of €3.28 per kg. Weanling heifers made up to €3.00 per kg.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

8 AA steers 394kg 835

6 Hr steers 343kg 780

2 Lm steers 495kg 1130

3 Hr heifers 345kg 690

2 Lm heifers 315kg 650

1 BB heifer 315kg 645

1 Hr cow 595kg 985

In Bandon on Monday, continental bullocks sold from €450 to €650 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €380 to €550 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €200 to €400 with their weight. Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €250 to €700 with the kilo. Dry cows made from €200 to €750 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 522kg 1150

1 Sim steer 535kg 1025

10 AA steers 437kg 950

11 Fr steers 475kg 800

1 BB heifer 615kg 1310

1 Lm cow 705kg 1450

1 Fr cow 600kg 980

“We had a bigger sale of cattle, with bullocks and heifers in general selling well,” Dungarvan mart manager, Ger Flynn, reported after Monday’s cattle sale.

“However, the trade was a little tougher for plainer lots of Holstein Friesian bullocks. Forward Friesian dry cows are selling very well at the moment.”

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 765kg 1400

3 Ch steers 605kg 1250

3 Lm heifers 618kg 1125

3 Ch heifers 506kg 1010

3 AA heifers 530kg 1005

4 Fr cows 757kg 1075

3 Fr cows 705kg 990

In Skibbereen mart on Friday dry cows sold from €80 under to €505 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks here made from €400 to €700 with the kilo.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 660kg 1390

2 Ch steers 512kg 1205

6 Lm steers 545kg 1180

2 Ch steers 397kg 960

1 Fr cow 780kg 1005

1 Lm cow 705kg 1180

1 Ch cow 815kg 1320

Numbers of cattle were up in Corrin mart on Tuesday, the mart had 800 stock on offer.

“We had a lively trade here for bullocks, with last week’s prices easily maintained,” Corrin mart manager Sean Leahy reported.

On Tuesday, store bullocks sold from €150 to €530 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €650 over the kilo.

The heifer trade on Tuesday was reported as “steady”, with store heifers in Corrin making from €200 to €450 over the kilo, and butcher types making up to €660 with their weight.

Dry cows in Corrin made from €400 up to €1,150 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 570kg 1095

4 PT steers 470kg 1130

3 Lm steers 618kg 1260

2 Hr steers 395kg 790

1 Lm heifer 535kg 1195

1 Ch heifer 477kg 1105

5 AA heifers 390kg 1105

And finally for this week we turn to Kanturk mart, where on Tuesday evening, mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us the following report.

“We had a full clearance at today’s sale, following the terrible weather at the weekend.

“Heifers, bullocks, cows and calves were a flying trade, with prices much the same as last week.

“Our next weanling show and sale is for spring born weanlings and will take place on September 27, kindly sponsored by Boherbue Co-Op Creameries.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 650kg 1300

3 Ch steers 675kg 1280

7 BB steers 520kg 1130

1 Ch heifer 690kg 1270

2 BB heifers 500kg 1000

10 AA heifers 575kg 1095

1 Fr cow 720kg 1000


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