Numbers are falling as rain prompts sellers to hold out a little longer

Heavy rain this time of year is causing farmers to generally sell their stocks, but the forecast calling for a deluge for last weekend has caused many sellers to hold back.

Although the numbers remained strong in many markets, they did not reach the levels of the last few weeks. At some shipyards they collapsed significantly due to the medium-term forecast.

After the rains – with more forecasts to come – all sides of trade can breathe a sigh of relief that the country is gradually turning green again.

But the weed won’t be overly plentiful as the days are getting shorter and temperatures are likely to drop, so I wouldn’t put the round feeder away just yet.

As always, the west needed the least rain, and places like Gortatlea, Castleisland and Balla saw heavier rains.

Prices in all three locations were high, although in Gortatlea Maurice Brosnan found that the lighter 350-450kg Friesen and Dairy stores fell to €1.60-1.90/kg.

This reflected the national picture, with 300-399 kg Friesians on average €1.59/kg, with 400-499 kg €1.88/kg.

However, the overall trend for steers under 500kg was up last week, with the average to better continental sales for €2.45-2.98/kg, while average to better Herefords and Angus under 500kg of 2.13-2.46 €/kg were sold.

Above 500kg, the fact came into play that buyers are at least as concerned about weed supplies as those looking to sell.

Look at it this way: If you buy round bales and possibly have to feed them, you don’t go to waste.

On the other hand, if you are low on grass and maybe feed too, would you consider bringing your 500-599kg steer home just because he was 6-9c/kg behind?

OK, that’s a drop of €30-54/h in one week, but it still means it was worth an average of €1,180-1,413 at €2.36/kg, to a peak of €1,653/h at €2.76/kg.

It might seem a bit superficial, but when you’re under pressure, sometimes you have to make decisions like that.

Trade in the 600+ kg ox for feed also suffered for the same reasons, but not to the same extent, with the overall average falling by just 2 cents/kg to €2.51/kg.

Also contributing to this is the continued strength of the factory trade for heavy cattle in the markets.

Jim Bushe of New Ross said it was a case of “the bigger the better”; when factory agents fired everything at beef, culminating in Jim dropping the hammer on a 790kg Charolais steer for €2,500.

In the Know – all about the markets

New steed

1,223 animals were offered at Saturday’s auction, with factories fiercely competing for beef.

This culminated in a 790kg Charolais steer fetching €2,500 as beef steers between €1,270 and €1,710/h were selling over €1,710/kg.

The decreasing number of beef heifers resulted in 1,070-1,540 €/h over €/kg.

On the shop side, Continental steers fetched €580-1,170/h more weight, Hereford and Angus types €445-970/h more.

Continental storage heifers were sold at €490-990/h over €/kg, Hereford at €420-810/h over.

Castle Island

Nelius McAuliffe reported a good trade on Wednesday with numbers of 775 including 150 cows culled.

After a pause of several weeks, the feedlots for 500kg+ Angus were back in action, for €2.50-2.75/kg.

On the Hereford side, farm buyers were dominant, paying €2.40-2.60/kg, while Friesian steers were sold for €2.10-2.35/kg.

Among the yearlings, 350 kg Angus were sold for €2.40/kg,g, 360 kg Herefords for €2.20-2.30/kg.

Friesian cullet cows are sold for €2.00-2.15/kg, well-fleshed colored cows €2.30-2.60/kg.


At 980, the numbers were a little lower than the previous week, but George Candler noted that despite the lack of weed, the quality was better and trading was a bit sharper too.

Bullocks over 600 kg are sold for €2.00-3.20/kg, 500-600 kg for €1.95-3.10/kg.

In the medium-heavy segment, oxen from 400 to 500 kg were sold for €1.70 to €3.25/kg, lighter lots for €1.50 to €3.19/kg.

Meat and steep heifers are sold for €2.10-2.75/kg, in retail €1.90-2.70/kg.

Friesian cullet cows were between 95c/k and 2.40€/kg, continental cows between 1.40 and 2.80€/kg.


A very large sale, with 1,370 on offer including 345 cows, and improved better animals.

Buyers from the North were very active, driving steers and heifers over 700 kg to €2.80-3.30/kg.

Given the strength of the beef, prices for the shops improved, with the general range of Angus steers selling for €2.20-2.60/kg and the tops at €2.70/kg, while Hereford steers were selling for €2 .10 to 2.50 €/kg were sold.

Hereford and Angus heifers averaged about 10c/kg below that of steers.

The only negative point was a price reduction for 350-450kg Friesians to 1.60-1.90€/kg.


The west has avoided the near-drought much of the country has been suffering in recent weeks, and with grass plentiful in that area, turnout was down to 150 last week as farmers opted to hold supplies.

450-550kg Charolais steers averaged close to the €3.00/kg mark, while better 450-480kg Angus steers and heifers fetched a top price of €2.80/kg.

This Saturday’s numbers are likely to be stronger, however, with Darragh overseeing a special beef and breed sale at the store.


Again, the numbers were down as the impending arrival of much-awaited rain no doubt gave vendors food for thought.

Prices have held up well with past figures, at €3.00/kg the basis for many of the better offers.

Heavy bullocks were sold for €2.30-3.15/kg, forward types for €2.45-3.25/kg, while lighter animals changed hands for €2.30-3.35/kg.

Heifers were between 2.25 and 3.15 €/kg, in trade between 2.30 and 3.20 €/kg.

On the weaning side, bulls were sold for €2.50-3.40/kg, heifers for €2.40-3.35/kg, while dry cows were sold for €1.55-2.35/kg.


After the exhibition and the sale in the previous week, a decrease in the offered weaners was understandable.

However, trading continued with top bulls from 260 to 450 kg selling for €3.10 to €3.69/kg.

On the heifer side, top calls included a 315kg Charolais at €3.24/kg, two 297kg sedans at €3.02/kg and a 345kg Charolais cross at €3.19 /kg

A 410 kg sedan was sold for €2.63, a 495 kg Herford for €2.20/kg.

There was a large turnout of older heifers and cows for slaughter, with the better heifer from 500 to 755 kg earning 2.53 to 3.13 €/kg, while well-fleshed Friesian cullets were sold for 1.70 to 2.35 €/kg and many continental cows fetched €2.50. 2.80/kg and up to 2.90 €/kg. Numbers are falling as rain prompts sellers to hold out a little longer

Fry Electronics Team

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