Beef exports to Canada to start within three months
Ireland will become one of the first EU regions to export beef to Canada as part of the CETA trade agreement.

“Two years on from the CETA deal we are still trying to tease out technical details,” said Brendan Gleeson from the Department of Agriculture, speaking at Bord Bia’s meat market seminar in Kildare today. “The latest development is that the certificate cleared yesterday. I expect the market should open and be ready to move in the first quarter of 2016.”

The news comes after Northern Ireland announced yesterday that it was the first European Union region to do beef business in Canada following the finalisation of certification protocols and procedures between the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) veterinary service and Canadian authorities.

Canada announced the end of its import ban on EU beef at the end of 2013 but that just enabled the beginning of the process to secure commercial approval. That required agreement of protocols and procedures by the veterinary service of the exporting state and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

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Canadian beef market to be slow burner

Strong trade for quality continental stores in Mohill
The trade for all good quality continentals in Mohill was strong on Saturday, with plenty of farmer buyers active.

Saturday’s sale at Mohill Mart saw a smaller entry of bullocks and heifers on offer than last week as we move towards the seasonal low of throughput in the coming weeks.

Mart manager Stephen Hannon said that while numbers on offer were lower, demand was still very strong and prices were on par with previous weeks with no signs of a fall-off in prices just yet.


Heifers were sold before bullocks and were a strong and steady trade. Heavy heifers over 500kg were only available in small numbers but the demand for these was strong.

This Limousin heifer, born March 2018 and weighing 320kg, sold for €790 (€2.47/kg).

Those that were on offer sold mainly from €1,000 for plain Angus and Hereford types to over €1,350 for top-quality lots.

Store heifers from 400kg to 500kg were available in larger numbers than heavy types and sold mainly from €1,000 to €1,200/head or €600 to €700 along with the weight for average-quality lots. Top-quality types made over €700 along with the weight. Weanling heifers were a firm trade also with quality the main driver of prices. Good-quality types sold mainly from €780 to €850/head.


The bullock trade was a little stronger than the heifer trade, with a little bit more bite for good-quality bullocks than heifers.

Heavy bullocks over 600kg were a strong trade selling from €1,200 to in excess of €1,450 for top-quality types.

This Limousin cross bullock, born August 2018 and weighing 385kg, sold for €1,140 (€2.96/kg).

Forward store bullocks form 500kg to 600kg were met with strong demand also and sold from €1,150 to €1,225/head. Lighter store bullocks from 400kg to 500kg sold mainly from €1,100 to €1,200/head for average quality types.

Weanling bulls and bullocks from 300kg to 400kg were a strong trade, selling mainly from €800 to over €1,140 for top-quality bullocks.

This Limousin heifer, born March 2018 and weighing 340kg, sold for €760 (€2.24/kg).

This Charolais bullock, born April 2018 and weighing 455kg, sold for €1,130 (€2.48/kg).

This Charolais bullock, born April 2018 and weighing 405kg, sold for €1,100 (€2.72/kg).

This Charolais bullock, born April 2018 and weighing 340kg, sold for €900 (€2.65/kg).

MartBids report: strong cow numbers meet with super demand in Ennis
Matthew Halpin reports on Thursday’s general cattle sale in Ennis, powered by MartBids.

The biggest talking point from Thursday’s general cattle sale in Ennis was the strength of the cow trade according to mart manager Martin McNamara.

“We had over 240 dry cows in today,” said McNamara. He added: “There were some super continental cows, ones that are in great order after getting a few months on the grass.”

Mart manager Martin McNamara demonstrates the Martbids app to local farmer John O'Dea. \ David Ruffles

Prices for cull cows ranged from €1.80-€2.20/kg for well-conditioned or younger cows, while store-types were still making over €1.60/kg.

Some noteworthy cow prices included:

  • A six-year-old Limousin-cross cow, weighing 910kg sold for a top price of €2,050 or €2.25/kg.
  • A 13-year-old Limousin-cross cow, weighing 880kg sold for €1,690 or €1.92/kg.
  • A six-year-old Blonde d'Aquitaine-cross cow, weighing 770kg sold for €1,670 or €2.17/kg.
  • Bullocks and heifers

    Thursday’s sale also featured over 350 bullocks and 150 heifers. McNamara said prices were “steady”. Table 1 gives a breakdown of male prices while Table 2 gives a breakdown of heifer prices.

    In the male ring, similar to Nenagh on Tuesday, it was the lighter and heavier animals that took a hit. Those in the 350-400kg category were back 25c/kg on the week previous to just under €2.10. The better confirmation animal was making over €2.40/kg but was still back 27c/kg on the week prior.

    On the opposite end of the scales, 600kg+ cattle were over 15c/kg to €1.90/kg. Quality lots could still command north of €2.20/kg, however.

    Males in the 400-500kg and 500-600kg categories were very steady with little or no change from seven days ago. The average price was between €2.15- €2.25/kg but the better-quality lots ranged from €2.40/kg to over €2.50/kg.

    On average, heifer prices were very similar to last week. As has been the case all spring, good quality was generating plenty of interest with the nice 350kg heifer making over €2.50/kg consistently and the heavier one at 450kg making over €2.40/kg. The poorer-quality lots are running about 65c/kg or €230-€300/head behind.

    Ennis Mart

    Commission rates are €9.48 to the buyer with the seller subject to a €2 booking fee, plus 1.5% commission up to a maximum of €12.

    Analysis for this report was generated from the MartBids app. MartBids is a collaboration between the Irish Farmers Journal and livestock marts. The app is available for download on iPhone or Android on the App Store or Google Play. With this app, all of the information that is displayed on the mart board is now available on your smartphone, long before the animal enters the sales ring.

    Trade steadies as kill rebounds
    An increase in throughput has provided factories with a reprieve and taken some of the pressure off to compete aggressively for stock.

    Last week’s kill increasing by over 3,000 head to reach 32,853 has afforded factories some breathing space after three weeks of upward price movement.

    Steers are trading in general at a base of €3.90/kg to €3.95/kg with finishers trading at the top of the market finding it more difficult to secure a base of €4/kg.

    Heifers are moving on a base of €4/kg to €4.05/kg on average, with a small number of deals reported at 5c/kg higher.

    Many agents point to supplies remaining firm for this week, but numbers coming on stream in the coming weeks will start to become dependent on cattle coming fit off grass.