Cattle marts: Friesian store bullock ‘best buy’ at the marts for those seeking to turn a healthy profit

The Friesian store bullock, a bit like David Cameron, has experienced a fall from grace this past week.

And while David Cameron’s epic downfall can be very easily explained, the Friesian bullocks’ decline is a little more complicated.

All year long while cattle prices for the most part have remained relatively unchanged, the Friesian bullock has been up and down like Tower Bridge.

“When in doubt, leave the Friesian out,” seems to be the prevailing mood amongst cattle buyers in an uncertain environment.

Good prices

Over the past week I have seen good square Friesian bullocks, 350kg to 400kg making €200-€250 with the weight.

Which, to my mind, makes the Friesian bullock by far the best buy at the marts right now. It’s a no brainer.

It looks like the money in 2017 will be made from the Friesian bullocks purchased right now.

And for those of us who are selling at the marts — as I have been preaching all year long — nobody out there wants a Friesian yearling with the crown jewels still intact. Castration is not brain surgery, put the squeeze on them.

In the ring right now the Friesian yearling bull is about as popular as Boris Johnson.

And so with that we turn to the marts.

In Skibbereen mart on Friday, dry cows sold from €80 to €450 with the kilo.

Heifers made from €245 to €655 with their weight.

Continental bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €280 to €870 with the kilo.

While Hereford and Angus bullocks made from €220 to €470 with their weight.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 680kg 1550

4 Lm steers 360kg 955

2 AA steers 400kg 805

1 Ch heifer 505kg 1160

2 Lm heifers 430kg 1000

1 Ch cow 750kg 1200

1 Sim cow 695kg 1070

Next we move to Dungarvan mart in Waterford and to mart manger Ger Flynn, who gave us this report after Monday’s cattle sale.

“We had a steadier trade for all forward type stock, with plainer lots of Friesians more difficult to sell,” he said.

“We had an excellent heifer trade on Monday last, particularly for quality continentals.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 698kg 1210

2 Lm steers 467kg 1140

1 Ch steer 428kg 1080

1 Lm heifer 630kg 1285

2 Ch heifers 460kg 1020

2 Ch heifers 430kg 975

1 Fr cow 765kg 1110

And whatever about the Friesian bullock finding the going tough in the marts right now, in Bandon on Monday the Friesian bull calf was soaring like an eagle. I saw handy month old Friesian bulls making €180 to €190 a head, which is €80 to €90 more than we were paying for them back in February and March.

And in the main ring in Bandon, just like Dungarvan, it was quality continental stock, and the Hereford and Angus animal who finish quickly, that were leading the charge.

In Bandon mart on Monday Continental bullocks sold from €250 to €705 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €240 to €760 with the kilo.

Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €230 to €625 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks in Bandon on Monday sold from €180 to €470 with their weight. While dry cows made from €20 under to €495 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 850kg 1610

1 Lm steer 445kg 1010

6 Fr steers 350kg 585

1 Lm steer 455kg 1080

1 BB heifer 385kg 800

1 AA heifer 440kg 880

1 Hr cow 805kg 1300

On Saturday in Macroom mart, dry cows sold from €80 under to €315 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €245 to €650 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €235 to €520 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €230 to €540 over the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 570kg 1220

2 Lm steers 530kg 1155

1 AA steer 470kg 990

3 AA steers 360kg 780

1 Lm heifer 475kg 1015

3 BB heifers 400kg 875

1 Fr cow 580kg 750

“The trade here was lively,” Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart reported after Monday’s cattle sale. “We had 740 stock on offer and again this week we had buyers from all over the country.”

In Kilmallock on Monday bullocks sold for up to €1645 per head. This sum was paid for a Limousin bullock weighing 780kg. Weanlings in Kilmallock made up to €2.41 per kg. Dry cows went to a high of €1.73 per kg. Heifers made up to €2.41 per kg. Dairy stock sold for up to €1070 (paid for a two-year-old calved heifer) while suckler stock hit a high of €1,200 (paid for a 16-year-old Friesian cow who, along with her pension book, had a Hereford bull calf).

Looking at breeding bulls in Kilmallock, an Aberdeen Angus made €1,750 while a Limousin sold for €1,570.



No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 392kg 870

2 AA steers 390kg 820

5 Lm steers 326kg 730

1 BB steer 410kg 930

2 Ch heifers 363kg 865

2 Hr heifers 413kg 810

1 Fr cow 435kg 555

Next we turn to Corrin mart, where on Tuesday 510 cattle were on offer and “a good trade” for bullocks was reported by mart manager Sean Leahy. In Corrin on Tuesday store bullocks sold from €190 to €530 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €799 over the kilo.

Sean reported the trade for heifers in Corrin as being “a little easier.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Lm steers 631kg 1430

5 Fr steers 668kg 1170

3 AA heifers 491kg 1045

5 Hr heifers 420kg 850

1 BBx heifer 425kg 880

1 Hr cow 855kg 1170

1 Lm cow 680kg 1050

Store heifers in Corrin made from €305 to €425 over the kilo, with butcher types making up to €554 over the kilo. Dry cows in Corrin on Tuesday made from €460 to €1,170 a head.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 580kg 1155

5 Fr steers 626kg 1045

3 Hr steers 508kg 1010

4 BB steers 340kg 805

5 AA heifers 395kg 805

1 Fr cow 870kg 1190

1 Hr cow 785kg 1120

And finally for this week we go next to Kanturk mart and to the local mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, who gave us this report after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had a smaller cattle sale here today with Cahirmee Horse Fair taking preference for many,” he said.

“The trade for cattle remains the same with prices largely maintained from last week.

“And just a reminder that our first Autumn born weanling show and sale will be held on July 26th, and this sale is kindly sponsored by Boherbue Co-Op.

“Also on July 26th, there will be a free draw with cash prizes for all the buyers and sellers of calves in 2016. This ‘Calf Promotion’ draw is kindly sponsored by AIB bank in Kanturk. Everyone is welcome.”


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