Cattle marts report: Cattle trade back to being an ‘adult only’ business as scholars return to their desks

There is a real sense of getting down to business at the marts this week. With the schools reopening after the Easter break, cattle marts are back to an adult-only audience.

And with the children gone and grass starting to grow, the cheque books are finally coming out.

I went to Bandon mart on Monday, and starting with a look at the calves, the trade here remains strong.

Bandon had 1,423 calves on offer with mart manager Tom McCarthy telling me that he felt “smaller calves were up €30 to €40 a head”.

And if you happen to be on the lookout for calves at the moment, the best buy, to my mind at least, is the nice lengthy Friesian bull calf, about a month old, he’s coming in at €140 to €150.

Staying with Bandon, and looking at the store bullock trade, the steer with the overcoat (out wintered) as we mentioned here last week, is still leading the way.

The outwintered animal with youth on his side is leading the price charge this week. A prime example of this in Bandon on Monday would be seven Hereford steers born Jan/Feb 2015. They weighed 327kg, with auctioneer Jim O’Brien bringing down the hammer at €790.

I thought it was good money for the bullocks and so did the man standing alongside me. And surely the two of us can’t be wrong.

In Bandon on Monday dry cows made from €50 to €470 with the kilo. Bandon mart had 111 dry cows on offer. Continental bullocks sold from €450 to €720 with their weight. 

Friesian bullocks sold from €200 to €510 with their weight. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €350 to €720 with the kilo. Heifers in Bandon made from €250 to €535 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 AA steers 270kg 740

2 AA steers 680kg 1380

4 AA heifers 320kg 750

2 Hr heifers 490kg 940

1 Lm heifer 460kg 995

1 Fr cow 660kg 1240

1 BB cow 795kg 1255

Corrin mart on Tuesday had 1,517 cattle and calves on offer with mart manager, Sean Leahy, telling me that there was “an excellent trade for bullocks. Last week’s very strong trade was easily maintained,” Sean added.

In Corrin, store bullocks sold from €200 to €650 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €670 over the kilo.

Sean also reported “a good firm trade” for heifers and dry cows. And in Corrin on Tuesday store heifers made from €250 to €580 over the kilo, with butcher types making up to €855 over the kilo.

On Tuesday dry cows made from €550 up to €1,290 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 468kg 1180

4 AA steers 656kg 1325

5 Fr steers 580kg 1025

6 Hr steers 380kg 820

1 Lm heifer 600kg 1460

5 Lm heifers 487kg 1090

1 Fr cow 770kg 1290

Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson isn’t a name often given a mention here in our mart and market report. And that’s because Sigmundur Daví Gunnlaugsson is not a fellow working up a sweat on a handy farm somewhere west along the road, he’s the prime minister of Iceland, or to be more exact, was the prime minister of Iceland.

He hails from a far colder part of the world, where this week he found himself in hot water over the Panama Papers scandal. A scandal, as you well know by now, that has sent shock waves through the well lined pockets and bulging wallets of fellows with more money than morals.

And whatever else we have learned about the Panama Papers this week, one thing I know for sure is that there will be no Irish beef farmer found on the infamous list. And I know this without ever peering at 11.5 million files that were held at the law firm of Mossack Fonseca.

We in the beef business are too taken up with trying to make money in the first place, to be concerned with what to do with it should it ever come our way.

The only time a beef farmer’s money isn’t resting in his account is when it’s resting in his pocket. Our money trail is terribly easy to follow.

It goes from the meat factory to the mart, and what money is left over is usually used to wipe away our tears and then to dampen down an overheating ration and fertiliser bill.So the trouble in faraway Panama may as well be in Outer Mongolia or even Outer Space for all the relevance it has to us.

Our concerns are far more real and local. And speaking of local concerns, we return to reality and from Mossack Fonseca we go next to Macroom mart where after Saturday’s cattle sale mart manager, John O’Mahony, gave us the following report.

“We had a similar sized sale to last week. This week’s sale included a clearance sale of sucklers with calves at foot, which sold for an average of €1,700 per lot. There was also a good trade for all other types of stock.”

And on Saturday in Macroom, dry cows sold from €105 under to €620 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €215 to €685 over the kilo. With continental bullocks selling from €230 to €775 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom mart on Saturday sold from €225 to €650 over the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 595kg 1280

3 Hr steers 470kg 1030

2 Lm steers 540kg 1295

1 Lm heifer 500kg 1120

6 Ch heifers 410kg 1060

1 Ch cow 790kg 1410

1 Fr cow 690kg 1185

“Tuesday’s sale saw some 1,223 cattle go through both sale rings with 825 calves and over 150 culled cows on offer,” Seamus O’Keeffe of Kanturk mart reported after this week’s cattle sale.

The North Cork mart manager added, “Cattle were up €60 to €70 a head on last week’s price, with a flying trade ringside and plenty of buyers from around the country present.”

And this Saturday, April 9, Kanturk mart will hold a dairy sale with 60 top class 1st and 2nd calvers entered. This sale begins at 1pm sharp.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Fr steers 602kg 1140

4 AA steers 517kg 1125

7 Hr steer 550kg 1105

1 Lm steer 390kg 1000

1 Lm heifer 515kg 1155

5 Ch heifers 494kg 1120

1 Fr cow 720kg 1140

Skibbereen mart manager Tom McCarthy reported “a very good trade for dry cows” on Friday. Dry cows here sold from €70 over to €510 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €400 to €700 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Sim steers 600kg 1260

1 Lm steer 550kg 1220

2 Hr steers 345kg 845

2 Hr heifers 332kg 725

3 Ch heifers 400kg 980

1 Sim cow 625kg 1130

1 Fr cow 710kg 1180

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €380 to €620 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €240 to €480 with their weight. Heifers in Skibbereen made from €370 to €780 with the kilo. Dairy stock in Skibbereen sold from €1000 to €1190 a head, with sucklers selling from €1,020 to €1,500.

“We had a big increase in numbers here on Monday, with prices holding well,” was the report we got from Dungarvan mart manager, Ger Flynn, after Monday’s cattle sale. And looking at sucklers in Dungarvan, suckler cows with calves at foot made from €1,130 to €1,530.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 AA steers 592kg 1330

3 Ch steers 520kg 1230

1 Hr steer 575kg 1210

1 Ch heifer 540kg 1220

9 Ch heifers 407kg 935

2 Ch heifers 487kg 1030

1 Fr cow 775kg 1170

And finally for this week we go across to Co Limerick and to Kilmallock mart, where — despite the recent poor weather — the trade was very strong in all five rings last Monday.

“Buyers who came from all over Ireland were in attendance, as well as exporters,” Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart told me.

Bullocks here sold for up to €2.56 per kg, while weanlings hit €3.02 per kg.

Kilmallock mart had a total of 255 dry cows on offer, with Denis reporting “an excellent dry cow trade”.

Dry cows in Kilmallock sold for up to €1.78 per kg.

Heifers went to a high of €2.88 per kg. Dairy stock in Kilmallock hit €1,300 (which was paid for a two-year-old heifer) while suckler cows went to a high of €1,170 (paid for a three-year-old in calf to a Belgian Blue).

And looking at the calf trade in Kilmallock Denis put it thus: “The tone of the calf trade for Monday was set with the very first lot in the ring at 8.15am. Two Friesian bulls sold for €200 each. Young beef breeds on Monday sold for up to €435 a head.”

Meanwhile, on Monday next, April 11, Kilmallock mart will hold a clearance sale of top class pedigree Friesian calved cows. This sale begins at 11.30am.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 390kg 840

3 Hr steers 547kg 1230

8 BB steers 507kg 1090

4 Sim steers 454kg 1075

1 Hr heifer 490kg 1000

2 Sim heifers 605kg 1180

1 Lm cow 480kg 845


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Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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