Marts had a very busy week across the country, with some very big numbers in marts over the last seven days.

Wet weather has forced the hand of many farmers, with ground conditions now very tough in all parts of the country.

Despite the higher numbers the trade has held firm for most categories of stock, with cull cows probably the only group of stock that are under more pressure this week.

Exporters are still very active around mart rings this week, with a number of different exporters very active, especially in the west of Ireland this week.

The Turkish market is playing an important role in the weanling trade, especially in the last two weeks as the quality drops off.

Traditionally, farmers bring out their best-quality weanlings first, with plainer types being kept to put on weight to try to add more value.

Exporters are in the market for the plainer calf, paying anything from €2.70/kg to €2.90/kg for a calf in the 300kg to 400kg bracket, with some aiming for lighter calves.

Looking at this week’s Irish Farmers Journal MartBids analysis table, we see that the bullock trade has remained steady over the past seven days, with only very slight movement in some of the weight and quality categories.

Top-quality bullocks

Top-quality bullocks in the 500kg to 600kg category remain unchanged this week at €2.83/kg, with the average-quality bullock in the same weight category also unchanged at €2.45/kg.

Lighter bullocks in the 400kg to 500kg category were also a similar trade to last week, with the top-end bullocks coming in at €2.72/kg, while average-quality bullocks came in at €2.26/kg.

Friesian bullocks and poorer-quality Hereford and Angus dairy beef animals were coming in at €1.80/kg this week.

Heavy bullocks over 600kg saw some gains this week, with the top end trading at €2.78/kg.


In the heifer rings, it was a similar story, with the best quality heifers in the 400kg to 500kg bracket coming in at €2.71/kg - similar to last week.

Poorer-quality lighter dairy beef heifers were under a little pressure this week, with fewer customers around the ring for the plainer types.

Heifers in the 350kg to 500kg bracket were trading from €1.85/kg to €1.99/kg this week - back a few cent on the previous week.

Average-quality heifers in the 500kg to 600kg bracket were also a little easier this week, coming in at €2.47/kg, back 15c/kg on the previous week’s trade.

Active feedlots

In the weanling bull rings, the top-quality weanlings continue to be a very good trade, with the top-end stock in the 300kg to 400kg bracket hitting €3.22/kg this week - up 11c/kg on last week’s trading.

Average-quality lots in the same weight category are trading at €2.79/kg this week - up 5c/kg on last week.

Feedlots have also been a little more active this week, especially in the south, and that has seen the heavy bull weanlings lift a little in price. The top-quality bulls in the 450kg-plus category came in at €2.95/kg this week.