Factory cuts are starting to bite in marts, with heavy cows back in price at Monday night’s weekly cattle sale in Elphin. Cull cows had been a roaring trade for the last few months, but have taken a dip following the latest factory cuts at the beginning of this week.
Top-quality heavy cows were hitting between €2-€2.20/kg in marts over the last few weeks, but have come back to €1.80-€1.90/kg in the last few days. Top call of the night went to an April 2019-born Charolais cross cow weighing 900kg. She was knocked down at €1,700 (€1.89/kg).
The next highest price was €1,660 for a June 2016-born Aberdeen Angus cow weighing 930kg (€1.78/kg). Lighter-quality cows were back at €1.50-€1.70/kg, with cows around the 700kg mark hitting prices of €1,200-€1,300. Lesser-quality cows requiring a lot of feeding were back at €1.30-€1.50/kg.
There was also a reduced trade to NI. Live exports to NI for January are up 25% compared to 2020 levels. There were 1,985 cattle exported to NI for further feeding in January 2021 compared to 1,585 exported in January.
There were 208 cattle exported to NI for direct slaughter for the week ending 31 January. This was down from 339 the week before.
Elphin mart has a big number of heifers booked in ahead of Wednesday’s special spring show and sale. Over 800 heifers will go through the ring on Wednesday, with a number of choice lots entered for the sale.
Elphin marts Gerry Connellan said: “The sale always attracts a huge amount of buyers every year from all over Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. Unfortunately, due to Brexit issues, we will be unable to export cattle to the UK direct from the sale. I’ve been on to the Department of Agriculture to find a resolution, but I don’t think there is anything can be done.
"The animals have to be resident on a farm for 40 days before they can be exported. It’s a big blow for us, as we always send a few double decker loads of heifers over to the UK from our special spring sales.”
The sale starts at 11am and is live on martbids.ie.