Cattle marts report: Stronger price for the stronger store, even if Turkey trip for cattle looks less likely

Having spent last week giving out about the poor trade in the mart for light store cattle, this week found me at the mart selling light store cattle.

Which, of course, will lead many to ask, “Does Lehane know what he’s doing at all?

“Have we some class of a madman giving us the mart and market report? Why doesn’t he wait until prices improve?”

Well, if you will just calm down for a minute, I’ll tell you why I was in the sellers’ box this week, and not sitting pretty in the corner, with my legs stretched, wisely sizing up the trade.

In the words of singer LunchMoney Lewis, “I’ve got bills I gotta pay.”

Yes indeed, it would be terrific to hold out until prices pick up, but in the real world, when the corn flakes start to run out, a fellow with a family to feed has to make a move.

I sold a few bullocks in Bandon on Monday, of the plain variety, it has to be said, and while the sum I got won’t transform me into John D Rockefeller, I got enough to turn a penny.

And in 2016, when a profit in beef is as rare as the corncrake, that’s no mean achievement.

But while the lighter store may be suffering in the marts at present, the stronger guy is most definitely in strong demand.

A good example of this in Bandon on Monday were four good quality square Friesian bullocks weighing 588kg, born in January, 2015.

They made €950. Good money for four bullocks who should be gone before Christmas.

Cattle marts report: Stronger price for the stronger store, even if Turkey trip for cattle looks less likely

And another appealing lot was six Hereford steers (pictured). Born in early 2015, weighing 414kg, they sold for €885.

In Bandon mart on Monday, continental bullocks sold from €380 to €650 with the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €300 to €680 with the kilo. Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €300 to €600 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €200 to €460 with their weight.

Dry cows made from €70 under to €600 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Ch steers 418kg 960

1 Sim heifer 545kg 1080

2 Lm heifers 430kg 975

2 Lm heifers 382kg 885

1 Au cow 895kg 1520

1 Ch cow 690kg 1240

1 Fr cow 840kg 1165

Right now, the prospect of a vibrant live export trade between Ireland and Turkey seems about as likely as Rory McIlroy captaining the Irish Olympic team.

Last week, just when we thought our cattle might be winging their way to Turkey, that country suddenly went slightly bananas.

And looking at the beef deal with Turkey as it stands, one piece of the arrangement that would certainly concern me, if I was an exporter, would be this business of weighing the cattle in Turkey before getting payment, as opposed to doing the deal here in Ireland, at the point of departure.

I’m sure that the weighbridges of Turkey are every bit as reliable as the weighbridges of Ireland, it’s just I can’t help but fear many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.

And with Turkey now about as well balanced as Glenn Close in that Fatal Attraction film, your old cup would be shaking fairly well, I imagine, by the time your cattle are weighed and the cheque is in your hand.

Alas, I fear, with regards to Turkey, our goose could well be cooked.

Anyway, as ever, we will drive on and, moving a little closer to home, we go from Turkey to Skibbereen.

In Skibbereen on Friday last, dry cows sold from €60 under to €445 with the kilo.

Heifers in Skibbereen made from €320 to €765 with their weight.

Continental bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €390 to €715 with the kilo. Hereford and Angus bullocks made from €260 to €495 with their weight.

Weanling bulls sold from €305 to €675 over the kilo in Skibbereen on Friday.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 475kg 1190

1 Ch steer 400kg 1000

6 Hr steers 360kg 780

1 Ch heifer 525kg 1100

2 Lm heifers 437kg 965

1 Lm cow 735kg 1180

1 Sim cow 710kg 1000

Next we move to Saturday’s cattle sale in Macroom mart, and to mart manager John O’Mahony, who gave us the following report.

“We had a fine sized sale of cattle here on Saturday for the time of the year.

“And also a reminder to readers that we have a sheep sale here each Tuesday.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 595kg 1325

2 Lm steers 620kg 1390

2 Hr steers 620kg 1215

1 BB heifer 385kg 930

1 Lm heifer 540kg 1140

1 Lm cow 605kg 960

1 Fr cow 690kg 1200

In Macroom on Saturday, dry cows sold from €45 under to €510 over the kilo.

Continental bullocks sold from €295 to €770 over the kilo.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €260 to €595 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €255 to €600 over the kilo.

Next we turn to Kanturk mart and to mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, who gave us this report after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had a beautiful day here in Kanturk on Tuesday, with a flying trade for 510 cattle, which included 107 calves.

“Our first autumn born weanling show and sale is on July 26, kindly sponsored by Boherbue Co-Op. Entries will be taken on the day.

“Also on July 26, we will have a draw with cash prizes for all the buyers and sellers of calves in 2016.

This draw is kindly sponsored by AIB Kanturk. Everyone is welcome.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 657kg 1250

4 Hr steers 652kg 1210

4 Fr steers 422kg 680

4 AA heifers 362kg 740

1 Hr heifer 645kg 1180

1 BB cow 805kg 1360

1 Hr cow 705kg 1050

Finally for this week, we go to Kilmallock mart on Monday, where a suckler cow selling for €1,590 was the highlight of the cattle sale. This sum was paid for a seven-year-old Charolais cow and her Charolais heifer calf.

Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart reported a “very steady trade in all rings” for the 778 stock that were on offer.

Kilmallock had 152 buyers from all over the country in attendance.

Bullocks on Monday sold up to €2.27 per kg. Weanlings hit €2.37 per kg. Dry cows sold for a high of €1.70 per kg. Heifers made up to €2.44 per kg.

Dairy stock hit a high of €1,300 (paid for a five-year-old in-calf cow, time up in a few days). Also in the dairy ring, a three-year-old Norwegian Red calved six days, sold for €1,020, with a five--year-old cow, softening to calve, making €1,130.

Denis Kirby says that the mart now has a special section for runner type calves at Monday’s sale.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 378kg 700

6 Fr steers 339kg 535

5 Lm steers 466kg 1000

1 Lm heifer 490kg 860

1 AA heifer 495kg 900

1 Hr heifer 480kg 1170

1 Fr cow 450kg 570


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