While cattle numbers are increasing, sales remained small at most venues across the country, several mart managers have noted.
Managers highlighted that the price gap between the poorer and better quality-types is widening.
Overall, increased demand led to an improved trade for heifers, while bullocks and cows remained steady; an emphasis is being placed on quality-types, with a tough selling trade for poorer light-weight and over-age non-quality-assured cattle.
One manager said heifer weanlings improved by €20/head, while weanling bulls were up by €10-€15/head on the previous week.
Some 875 cattle and 90 calves passed through the ring at Carnew Mart on Saturday (January 19tH), according to David Quinn – Manager.
The Manager said: “Demand was strong with more farmer customers leading to a full clearance.” – see more here.
Slightly bigger numbers of stock presented for at Castlerea Mart on Thursday (January 24th), with trade and prices similar to last week, according to Brendan Egan – Manager.
He reported an improved trade for better-quality weanlings, while good clearances were recorded in the bullock and heifer rings; there was a good attendance at the general cattle sale – see more here.
Some 580 lots went under the hammer at Kilkenny Mart on Thursday (January 24th), according to George Candler – the mart’s auctioneer.
George reported a “steady trade”, nothing that in-spec cattle are in demand, but over-age cattle not quality-assured are “very difficult to get away”.
“Trade remains steady which is a compliment to buyers who are purchasing stock in the most uncertain period facing agriculture in years.” He said.
“People are fed up listening to the word ‘Brexit’ but, unfortunately, if we have a negative outcome – a Hard Brexit - the outcome for Beef and perhaps Dairy farming could be catastrophic.”
“Hopefully we will not encounter such a scenario but we need clarity very quickly.” He concluded.
Monday last (January 21st) saw some 491 stock on offer at Kilmallock Mart, according to a mart spokesperson who reported an improved trade.
Bullocks sold for up to €1465 /head or €2.09 /kg and dry cows sold for up to €1085/head or €1.51/kg, while heifers fetched up to €1.95 /kg.
Moving to other rings, Weanling Bulls peaked at €2.45 /kg, Weanling Heifers hit €650 /head or €1.80 /kg and a top call of €350 was recorded in the calf ring, while a 3-year-old in-calf heifer – due in March to a FR – was knocked down at €1,380 – sample prices can be found here.
Cattle met with a mixed trade at Tuam Mart on Monday (January 21st), with stronger demand for heifers, according to Marion Devane – Manager.
Cull cows sold to €1,450, heifers hit €1,240, weanling bulls topped out at €1,010 and weanling heifers followed at €870 – see more here.
Quality cattle met with good demand at Sixmilebridge Mart’s general cattle sale on Saturday (January 19th), according to Sean Ryan Manager.
Speaking following the sale, the manager said: Heifers were dearer than previous weeks, while cows were a good trade.” – see sample prices here.