The trade at Carnew Mart’s special beef and store cattle sale held last Saturday was described by mart manager David Quinn as “on fire”.
Factory agents purchasing for domestic plants were keen for slaughter-fit and short-keep stock, leading to healthy competition not only between themselves, but also with Northern Irish buyers.
There was close to 100 bullocks on offer weighing from 600kg to 740kg, which realised a super average price of €2.49/kg.
The majority of these fell within a tight price range of €2.35/kg to €2.65/kg, with a super Limousin-cross bullock weighing 740kg selling for €2,090 or €2.82/kg, while a top-quality Belgian Blue-cross bullock weighing 672kg also topped the €2,000 mark, selling for €3/kg.
Over 100 bullocks weighing between 500kg and 600kg averaged €2.24/kg, with this cohort of animals including a significant number of Friesian and beef-dairy-crosses.
Prices for these plainer-type animals ranged from €1.88/kg to €2.20/kg, with good-quality U grading continentals selling from €2.35/kg to €2.60/kg.
It was similar for cattle weighing 400kg to 500kg, with an average price of €2.18/kg.
Friesian cattle sold from €1.80/kg to €1.95/kg on average, while Angus and Hereford-crosses typically sold between €2.10/kg and €2.20/kg, with continental-crosses rising to €2.30/kg to €2.50/kg.
The trade for heifers closely mimicked bullocks. Heifers weighing 600kg to 700kg averaged €2.34/kg, with a handful of super-quality heifers selling from €2.60/kg to €2.90/kg, including a heavy Charolais-cross heifer weighing 768kg, which sold for €2,000.
Almost 80 heifers weighing between 500kg and 600kg averaged 533kg liveweight and with an average price per kilo of €2.32/kg, they sold for a fine average of €1,239 per head.
In the region of 60 heifers weighing between 400kg and 500kg achieved an average sale price of €2.21/kg.
Dairy crossbreds and plainer-quality heifers with poor weight for age sold from €2.00/kg to €2.18/kg on average, with better-quality lots to €2.30/kg to €2.45/kg.
The cow trade has strengthened by €40 to €70 of late.
Friesian cows sold from €1/kg to €1.30/kg on average for cows straight from the parlour, with fleshed lots rising as high as €1.50/kg to €1.75/kg.
Beef-bred cows sold from €1.70/kg to €2.00/kg for aged and average-quality lots, with good-quality fleshed and heavy cows from €2.00 to €2.36/kg.