Friday last saw Rathfriland Mart host its weekly cattle sale where 79 calves and runners (two- to five-month-old calves), along with 35 weanlings, heifers and bullocks, as well as some dry cows and suckler cows, went through the ring.
With an almost-100% clearance, there was a great demand for a reduced number of cattle at the sale compared with recent weeks.
The drop calf trade remained strong, with demand outweighing supply this week. Friesian bull calves saw an improved trade, with these averaging close to £200 (€231).
Continental-bred bull and heifer calves sold for an average of £305 (€352). While Hereford and Angus calves were slightly behind the previous week’s price, there was still demand for good calves, which averaged £195 (€225).
Weanlings saw a trade similar to the rest of the country, where quality stood out. Continental-bred heifers saw a strong demand, with lighter heifers around the 230kg to 300kg bracket in particular demand, with these heifers averaging £620 (€716).
The demand for lower-quality bulls was back on previous weeks, with dairy-bred weanling bulls averaging £510/head (€589). Continental-born bulls averaged £740 (€854).
With a small show of bullocks and heifers on offer, heifers averaged £690 (€797) for an average weight of 405kg. Store bullocks saw an improved trade, with those weighing 430kg to 520kg averaging £2/kg. Lighter bullocks were mainly dairy-bred and these sold to average £1.50/kg. Heavy bullocks weighing 520kg-plus sold for an average of £1.90/kg.
Dry cows saw a strong trade for factory-fit cows, with these seeing a sale average of £1.58/kg. Lighter cows suitable for feeding had a slightly lower average at around £1.45/kg. Sucklers were also a good trade, selling from £1,100 to £1,500.