Marts: Reasons to be cheerful despite latest cattle price drops

Pictures and Prices from Elphin Mart


5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 7B
Weight 555Kg
DOB 24/4/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1440
Photo Brian Farrell
5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 7B
Weight 555Kg
DOB 24/4/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1440
Photo Brian Farrell

The message from the latest ringside figures is that the trade remains under pressure. The tables below show that every section on both the bullock and heifer table fell, bar the poorer-quality 600kg+ heifer.

Aside from that, the trade continued to bleed confidence.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 11A
Weight 605Kg
DOB 16/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 11A
Weight 605Kg
DOB 16/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 11A
Weight 605Kg
DOB 16/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell

However, there is some reason for optimism.

Tim McSweeney, yard manager in Macroom, said: “Cattle are selling. Price is important but so is the weather. Lads are watching the weather long term. A dry autumn would decide a lot.”



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8A
Weight 542Kg
DOB 12/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1360
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8A
Weight 542Kg
DOB 12/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1360
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8A
Weight 542Kg
DOB 12/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1360
Photo Brian Farrell

Maurice Brosnan of Gortatlea in Kerry said: “It’s very easy to be negative but lads need to remember a few things.

“Firstly, this time last year we were putting cattle into sheds on September 1.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5D
Weight 690Kg
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1535
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5D
Weight 690Kg
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1535
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5D
Weight 690Kg
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1535
Photo Brian Farrell

“Secondly, current factory prices are better than last year.

“And thirdly, we’ve got six weeks of grass in front of us that we didn’t have last year.”

Also Read


Another comment I heard more than once over the last week was that those lighter cattle down around €1.00-1.30/kg “have to be value”.

Tim is right. What the weather does between now and the middle of November will be crucial.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5B
Weight 553Kg
DOB 1/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1640
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5B
Weight 553Kg
DOB 1/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1640
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5B
Weight 553Kg
DOB 1/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1640
Photo Brian Farrell

Maurice is also right. We are looking at a situation for a lot cattle farms that this winter could well start from a position that will make it at a minimum of six weeks shorter than the 2017/18 winter.

And yes, those lighter cattle could be value. At the very least they might allow some to stock their farms very cheaply, providing they can sustain the long keep.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5C
Weight 665Kg
DOB 13/7/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5C
Weight 665Kg
DOB 13/7/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5C
Weight 665Kg
DOB 13/7/16
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1475
Photo Brian Farrell

There are two ways of looking at the figures.

One is of a trade lacking confidence; the other is of a market adjusting itself to take account of possible future difficulties.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell

Last week’s price falls among the bullocks work out as follows:

The 300-399kg section was back by 9c/kg – €28-36/hd – while the overall average in the 400-499kg division eased by 6c/kg, or €24-30/hd.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 7A
Weight 575Kg
DOB 17/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1405
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 7A
Weight 575Kg
DOB 17/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1405
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 7A
Weight 575Kg
DOB 17/1/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1405
Photo Brian Farrell

Among the forward 500-599kg bullocks, prices fell by 4c/kg, or €20-24/kg, while the 600kg+ animal was down by 3c/kg or €18/hd. The trend is obvious: the lighter the animal the greater the reduction.

Looking back to this time last year we find another trend – a trend I feel shows that despite all the concern there is over fodder, the mart price of the forward and factory bullock is being led by the factory price rather than concerns over feed.

Last week, factory prices ranged from €3.85-3.90/kg, compared to €3.75-3.85/kg this time last year.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 5A
Weight630K
DOB 6/5/16
Breed CHX
Sex Heifer
Price €1600
Photo Brian Farrell


5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8B
Weight 555Kg
DOB 21/2/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1435
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8B
Weight 555Kg
DOB 21/2/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1435
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8B
Weight 555Kg
DOB 21/2/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1435
Photo Brian Farrell

Now compare last week’s mart prices for bullocks.

This time last year the overall average price of the 500-599kg bullock was €1.97/kg – exactly the same as it was last week – while the 2017 price at this time for the 600kg+ bullock was €1.95/kg, compared to last week’s average of €1.96/kg.

Those bullocks under 500kg, however, are suffering as buyers factor in the longer keep and high fodder and feed prices.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8C
Weight 530Kg
DOB 21/4/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1365
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8C
Weight 530Kg
DOB 21/4/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1365
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 8C
Weight 530Kg
DOB 21/4/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1365
Photo Brian Farrell

Last week the average price of your 300-399kg bullock was €1.73/kg, while this time last year it was €2.04/kg; that’s a €93-124/hd difference.

In the 400-499kg section the difference is 20c/kg, €1.79kg compared to €1.99/kg: €80-100/hd less.

The trend remains, the lighter the animal, the more the pain.



5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 6C
Weight 525Kg
DOB 7/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1390
Photo Brian Farrell5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 6C
Weight 525Kg
DOB 7/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1390
Photo Brian Farrell

5/Sept/2018 Elphin Mart Heifers.
Lot Number 6C
Weight 525Kg
DOB 7/3/17
Breed CH
Sex Heifer
Price €1390
Photo Brian Farrell

Marts Roundup

1 Kilrush

The story here was of bigger numbers of younger stock and cull cows helping to push up the overall turnout. There was also a show of aged bulls, mainly Friesians, who sold to a top of €1.61/kg. On the bullock side, six 349kg Hereford Xs saw the hammer at €1.83/kg, while among the continentals €2.27/kg would have got you a 510kg Limousin, with his lighter 315kg brother clicking €2.57/kg. Trade for cull cows saw an 800kg Friesian make €1.33/kg with a 595kg Limousin scoring €1.55kg. Best of the heifers was a 365kg Limousin who hit €2.40/kg.

2 Ennis

Trade for quality stock held well with forward cattle continuing strong. Plainer stock were a difficult proposition. Five 568kg Charolais scored €2.60/kg, two batches of five and six Limousins weighing from 486-530kgs sold from €2.63-2.65/kg, and a 695kg Charolais made €2.47/kg. There was a noticeable greater mix of Friesian and continental cull cows on show with the prices ranging to €1.96/kg.

3 Baltinglass

There was also a bigger sale here, with, as elsewhere, the better animal continuing to perform once he or she ticked the boxes on age and conformation. Among the sample bullock prices was a 35-month 805 kg Hereford who clicked €1,690 and a 14-month 505kg Charolais who made €1,100.

4 Maam Cross

Prices here saw bullocks average €2.27/kg to a max of €2.35/kg as paid for a 16-month-old 438kg Charolais. Top price among the heifers went to a 19-month 590kg Charolais at €2.73/kg. The average price among the heifers worked out at €1.96/kg. Bull weanlings averaged €2.10/kg with a seven-month-old 464kg Charolais the top scorer at €2.68kg. Dry cows averaged €1.37/kg to a max of €1.80/kg

5 Macroom

Prices here did see poorer stock squeezed but in the weanling ring the top of the market ran from €2.40-2.50/kg while better Hereford and Angus bulls sold from €2.00-2.10/kg. The better Friesian bullock was capable of €1.75/kg, while the less good one fared out at around €1.30/kg. Herford heifers saw a top of €1.80-1.85/kg.

6 Kilkenny

This was the biggest sale here this year. George Candler rated forward stores and beef as “steady”. However, George also commented that potential feed shortages was making finding customers for bullocks and heifers under 380kg “difficult”, especially if there was an obvious dairy influence. Prices saw the 600kg+ bullock make €1.65-2.45/kg, with forward stores from 500kg up averaging €1.55-2.55/kg; 400-500kg stores made €1.40-2.60/kg, with those under 400kg making €1.20-2.00/kg. Friesian cull cows sold from €1.00-1.87/kg, with continental cows making €1.25-2.05/kg.

7 Carnew

This was a large sale, and while plainer dairy type cattle continued to be a difficult trade, the better beef and forward stores sold well. Beef and forward store bullocks sold from €580-1,040/hd over the €/kg, while beef heifers made €530-840/hd with their weight. Among the lighter stores, continental types made €430-840/hd with the €/kg, while Angus and Hereford stores made €220-650/hd with the €/kg. Friesian bullocks sold from €100-580/hd with the weight. Hereford and Angus heifers made €180-440/hd with the €/kg. Store cows sold from €100/hd under to €380/hd over the €/kg.

Indo Farming

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);