Cattle marts report: Top price of €4,400 and not an empty seat at Gigginstown ‘Ryanair’ Angus sale

From Skibbereen to Gigginstown, it has been quality all the way at the cattle sales.

Skibbereen mart has for a long time been one of the premier marts when it comes to quality livestock.

And on Friday last, this was certainly the case.

It was a full house at the West Cork cattle mart (for the third week in a row), with Limousin stock leading the way in both price and numbers.

“These are the cattle you should be buying, Denis,” mart manager Tom McCarthy said to me, as he busily worked with his staff in the mart yard.

Tom knows well that I, to put it mildly, am not a huge buyer of the top class animal.

I’m a simple man, with simple needs.

“You should invest in the future,” Tom said, trying his best to steer me on the right path. And in Skibbereen on Friday, if you wanted to invest in the future, Continental bullocks were making from €400 to €720 with their weight.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €320 to €630 with the kilo. My old pal the Friesian bullock made from €200 to €420 with the weight. 

Heifers on Friday (Skibbereen had 300 on offer) made from €280 to €655 with the kilo. Dry cows here sold from €1/kg to €550 with the kilo.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

7 Ch steers 484kg 1170

1 Lm steer 355kg 880

3 Hr steers 670kg 1300

4 AA heifers 365kg 715

6 Lm heifers 400kg 975

1 Ch cow 810kg 1360

1 Fr cow 715kg 1060

With quality cattle still on my mind from my visit to Skibbereen on Friday, I headed to Westmeath on Saturday to the Gigginstown House Angus Sale.

I met with the farm owner, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary who, like Tom McCarthy on the previous day, was also keeping busy droving cattle.

“You look like you know what you are doing,” I said to him, as his sale neared completion.

“I try to pretend I know what I’m doing,” Michael said.

“We had a great sale here today, a great crowd, and you know I don’t like to see an empty seat.

“It’s a sale we have been holding here with the past 20 years, and is something I really look forward to.

“I enjoy my day running after cattle, isn’t it better than spending your day running after children?” quipped the Ryanair boss and father of four.

The Gigginstown Angus Sale on Saturday drew buyers from all parts of Ireland.

With a total of 50 lots on offer, there were 25 bulls up for grabs.

A top price of €4,400 was paid for a smashing bull of 20 months.

Bulls at the sale sold from €2,500 up, with many hovering around the €3,000 mark.

Heifers at the Gigginstown sale sold from €2,000 upwards.

A heifer with a heifer calf at foot made €3,700.

After the sale, I spoke to Mullingar based auctioneer Paul Murtagh, Paul has been selling the Angus stock at Gigginstown for many years.

“We had another excellent sale here today, with buyers coming from North and South, from Down to Cork, and of course local buyers also.

“I think there is no greater testament to the quality of Angus stock here than to see the same buyers return year after year,” Paul said.

From Westmeath, we head a little closer to home, as we venture next to Waterford and to our friends at Dungarvan mart, where on Monday last, suckler cows, some with calves at foot, made from €1,250 to €1,580.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 AA steers 629kg 1310

5 Lm steers 548kg 1205

5 Hr steers 530kg 1130

2 Lm heifers 487kg 1020

1 AA heifer 495kg 1040

1 Fr cow 795kg 1145

2 Fr cows 712kg 1020

Kilmallock cattle mart had 2,100 stock on offer last Monday. The mart had 314 buyers in attendance, with Denis Kirby telling me, “Despite the cold weather, prices here were on a par with previous weeks.” Dry cows sold particularly well (Kilmallock had 250 on offer) going to a high of €2.15/kg.

Bullocks made up to €2.42/kg. Weanling bulls hit €2.82/kg. Heifers sold for up to €2.64/kg. Dairy stock made up to €1,200 (paid for a 4-year-old calved cow), while suckler cows hit €1,410 (paid for a 13-year-old Hereford and her Limousin bull calf).

In a reminder to sellers, the mart asks them to have their stock in the yard early, because sales are now very big.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Hr steers 388kg 860

1 AA steer 540kg 1280

6 Fr steers 513kg 1065

2 Lm steers 633kg 1460

4 Ch steers 400kg 865

1 Fr cow 495kg 760

1 Lm cow 460kg 780

We move next to Kanturk mart, where mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us all the details after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had 1,300 animals, including 650 calves, passing through both rings today.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 665kg 1240

4 AA steers 547kg 1060

10 Hr steers 484kg 1010

2 Sim steers 370kg 870

1 AA heifer 480kg 1040

1 Lm heifer 350kg 950

1 Fr cow 775kg 1120

Cattle prices were up from last week, with farmer buyers plentiful and a total of 140 buyers present. Hereford and Angus bullocks were making €450 to €550 with their weight, while Friesian bullocks made up to €350 with the weight.

“Calves were making top prices with Hereford bulls selling for up to €420. Hereford heifers fetched up to €370 a piece with Friesian bulls making from €130 to €250.

“Ten December-born Aberdeen Angus heifers made €500 each.”

“We had a very big sale of cattle here today with plenty of interest at ringside. There was a good trade for all types of stock across the board,” John O’Mahony, Macroom mart manager, reported after Saturday’s cattle sale.

Dry cows sold from €40 under to €680 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €215 to €705 over the kilo, with continental bullocks selling from €235 to €765 over their weight.

Heifers in Macroom on Saturday from €220 to €605 with the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 525kg 1185

2 AA steers 665kg 1370

2 Lm steers 635kg 1400

1 Ch heifer 525kg 1130

1 Lm heifer 490kg 1090

1 Lm cow 720kg 1360

1 Lm cow 745kg 1425

Corrin mart on Tuesday had 1500 cattle and calves on offer with mart manager, Sean Leahy, telling me that there was “a good strong trade for bullocks.”

In Corrin, store bullocks sold from €150 to €570 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €800 over the kilo.

Sean reported “a steady trade for heifers and a very strong trade for dry cows”; they made from €500 to €1200 a head. Store heifers sold from €240 to €630 over the kilo, with butcher types making up to €735 over the kilo.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 755kg 1550

2 Au steers 545kg 1155

7 AA steers 590kg 1165

1 Lm steer 440kg 1100

5 Ch heifers 350kg 980

1 Hr heifer 700kg 1435

1 Fr cow 840kg 1180

We started with Tom McCarthy this week, and we will finish with him, as we look at Bandon mart where, on Monday last, dry cows sold from €10 under to €405 with the kilo.

Bandon mart had 170 dry cows on offer. Heifers on Monday made from €350 to €650 with the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €450 to €750 with their weight. 

Friesian bullocks sold from €190 to €520 with their weight. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €350 to €650 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Lm steers 523kg 1100

5 BB steers 597kg 1360

7 Fr steers 420kg 800

7 Hr steers 351kg 840

3 Lm heifers 540kg 1140

1 Fr cow 765kg 1150

1 Hr cow 745kg 1130


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