Last Saturday’s sale at Carnew Mart saw an entry of over 1,030 cattle and calves on offer. Mart manager David Quinn said that they had put in very stringent safeguards in the office and in the sales ring to ensure that all staff and farmers abided by the social distancing rules.
“The majority of cattle on offer were sold subject as sellers were not in the sellers box for the sale. Farmers had to maintain a 6ft distance from each other in the mart and the office staff were protected from the public by screens also.
“It was very disappointing and very much unexpected when the announcement came on Tuesday that mart sales would have to be cancelled.”
In terms of Saturday’s sale, there was a large entry on offer, but numbers were slightly higher the previous week when there was a little panic buying and selling going on.
The previous week saw a sharp fall in the prices paid for cull cows and David said that on Saturday last they were expecting another fall. However, this did not materialise and cow prices held firm.
“Friesian cows sold from about €100 to €150 with the weight, with Friesians carrying some flesh making more than this. Demand for continental cows was very strong also and prices ranged mainly from €300 to €550 over the weight. Feeding cows sold mainly from €900 to €1,100/head.”
He added: “I suppose the worst affected price-wise were Angus and Hereford cattle over 500kg. The previous week these had been met with a €50/head drop in prices and again on Saturday prices were back by another 5-7c/kg.
This resulted in the majority of these cattle selling from €1.80/kg to €1.90/kg.
Good-quality continental cattle continued to be a strong and steady trade on previous weeks. The majority sold from €2.00/kg to €2.20/kg, with better-quality forward store bullocks and heifers selling for more than €2.30/kg.
On Saturday last we had about 205 calves on offer. The calf trade last week was a little stronger than previous weeks.
Shippers were active for good-quality Friesians and Angus bulls. Friesians sold from €30 to €60, with Angus bulls making from €140 to €190/head. In the past few weeks, the number of Friesian bulls have started to dry up, as have Jersey-crosses.
Commission rates are €10 to the buyer and 1.5% to the seller.