Cattle numbers remained steady in marts across the country over the past number of days as quality stock was easily sold, while plainer animals proved a little more difficult.

Numbers in Macroom Mart in Co. Cork dropped to 680 head for the sale on Saturday, November 26, down from an exceptional week of close to 1,000 head the week before, according to Mart Foreman Tim McSweeney.

"Prices were up this week as the trade improved, out of the 680 cattle at the sale I think only eight went home unsold, that says a lot about the sale," he said.

There was a good mixture of farmer buyers and buyers from further up the country, including buyers for the Turkish export market, McSweeny said.

"The presence of the Turkish buyers made a real difference, he was missing last week and it was noticeable," he said.

Sample Prices

  • Bullocks: Friesian 590kg - €1,015 or €1.72/kg
  • Bullocks: Charolais 480kg - €1,045 or €2.17/kg
  • Heifers: Charolais 480kg - €950 or €1.98/kg
  • Heifers: Simmental 370kg - €720 or €1.94/kg
  • Weanling Bulls: Belgian Blue 440kg - €1,080 or €2.45/kg
  • Wealing Bulls: Charolais 320kg - €800 or €2.50/kg
  • Weanling Heifer: Limousin 370kg - €825 or €2.22/kg
  • Weanling Heifer: Charolais 275kg - €610 or €2.21/kg

The Mart Foreman expects numbers to ease a little coming into the last three sales of the year, with numbers estimated to be between 450-500 head of cattle for these sales.

Manorhamilton Mart, Co. Leitrim

Good cattle were easily sold at the sale in Manorhamilton Mart in Co. Leitrim on Monday, November 28, according to Mart Spokesperson Wilfred Moffitt.

Numbers were down slightly due to the time of year, but trade remained steady overall, Moffitt said.

Springer cows were making between €1,000-1,200, while cows with calves at foot were making between €1,450-1,550, he said.

There was a small number of dry cows on offer with just 20 cows going under the hammer, with one 610kg cow making €900 or €1.47/kg while another weighing 720kg made €1,065 or €1.48/kg.

Heifers weighing between 400-550kg/head were making anywhere between €1.90-2.05/kg, as the lighter heifers proved to be a much dearer trade.

Weighing between 200-230kg/head, light heifers were making from €520-580 which was between €2.47-2.75/kg, Moffitt said.

There was very few heavy bullocks on offer at the sale in Manorhamilton, with most lots of weanling bulls weighing between the 300-400kg/head mark.

Prices ranged from €825-1,040 for weanling bulls or between €1.96-2.31/kg, the Mart Spokesperon said.

Delvin Mart, Co. Westmeath

Trade has firmed well over the past couple of weeks, with prices rising by close to €20-30/head week-on-week, Delvin Mart Manger John Gilligan said.

At the cattle sale on Thursday, November 24, just over 400 head of cattle went through the sales ring.

Continental bullocks weighing up to 500kg/head were making anywhere between €1.95-2.35/kg, while Friesian bullocks were making close to €1.75-1.80/kg.

With regards to heifers, Gilligan said store heifers were making from €1.90/kg up to highs of €2.52/kg.

Meanwhile, heavier heifers ranged in price from €2-2.28/kg. One heifer weighing 500kg sold for €1,015 or €2.03/kg while a heifer weighing 590kg made €1,320 or €2.23/kg.

Delvin Mart provides a range of customers for all kinds of cattle, with a mixture of farmer and factory buyers, according to Gilligan.

Similar to Macroom, Gilligan expects numbers to ease slightly over the coming weeks with just three sales left until the end of the year.