Cattle ‘very lively’ as Christmas break approaches

THE cattle trade at the marts remains very lively as the Christmas break in sales approaches –  with a strong demand for all types of stock.

What were described as ‘fancy breeding heifers’ went big money at Gort Mart last week with one 495kg Lim X selling for a whopping €3,130.

A couple of other Lim X heifers also ‘shot the lights out’ at Gort with one, 410kgs, making €2,220 and another 415kg Lim X selling for €2,020.

Loughrea Mart also reported a bigger than expected cattle sale with ‘a flying trade’ and a 96% clearance as feedlot buyers were very eager for stock.

Cull cows were in strong demand at Loughrea averaging from €1.50/kg to €2.49/kg: a 2016 born Limousin, 805kg, sold for €1,990 while a 2012 born, 715kg Limousin X made €1,660.

Tuam Mart also reported a lively trade on Monday, again with a strong demand for cull cows where an 895kg Charolais X, sold by a Headford farmer went for €2,420 or €2.70/kg.

Quality heifers and bullocks at Tuam were also touching the €3/kg price mark while a lovely selection of in-calf cows and springers made up to €2,320 for a 650kg Limousin X.

Mountbellew, on Friday evening last, reported a smaller entry to the previous week, but a very strong trade with a complete clearance of store bullocks and heifers. Headford Mart also had a strong trade on Saturday for both store and heavy cattle.

On the sheep front, Loughrea had over 400 on offer with a 96% clearance achieved with lambs averaging between €2.70/kg and €3.03kg. Tops of €159 was achieved for 55kgs.

Storm Elin on Saturday, kept sheep numbers down at Mountbellew, with good store lambs a very solid trade as were stag ewes. Eighteen ‘very clean’ 53.8kg lambs sold for €150 while the tops for culls was €146, 103kg.

The healthy mart trade for cattle was also replicated at the factories this week with steers hitting the €4.90/kg mark while heifers broached the €5/kg ceiling and a bit more in cases.

Some observers credit the strong factory trade with a big demand for Irish beef across the UK retail chains – many of the meat plants are understood to be ‘doing better deals’ than the official quotes, in order to get cattle.

Pictured: Nena and Paddy Carolan came all the way from Cavan for Sheep 23 at Screenes of Guilka.



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