There is no let up to the buzzing trade at the cattle marts around the country.
Keen factory, exporter and farmer buying saw prices strengthen again over the past week. It really didn't seem to make a difference what type of animal was in the ring because there were customers aplenty for them all. Any animal with flesh on it was snapped up by factory buyers to boost the scarce supplies of finished stock.
Heavy continental cattle made €2-2.47/kg, while forward stores sold up to a high of €2.52/kg (€660 over) and fat cull cows €1.90/kg (€670 over).
Suckler cows with calves at foot generally sold for €1,000-1,500/hd. Weanling bulls made €1.90-2.50/kg, with some choice lots of bulls making up to €3/kg, and heifers sold up to €3.35/kg.
In Kilkenny, the best bulls in a special sale of bull weanlings sold up to €3.05/kg, while the general run of prices was €2-2.80kg. The best weanling heifer sold for €3.35/kg, while the rest sold back to €2.10/kg.
Heavy beef steers made €1.60-2.17/kg (€455-890 over). Forward stores sold for €1.70-2.25/kg (up to €660 over). Beef heifers over 500kg made €1.90-2.16/kg, while butcher types sold for €1.70-2.12/kg. Store heifers made €300-480 over their weight (€1.70-2.18/kg). Continental cull cows made €1.45-1.90/kg and Friesian culls sold for €1.15-1.55/kg.
Top-class bulls over 600kg made €545-855 over in Raphoe Mart. Beef bullocks sold for €465-665 over and stores made €300-550 over. Beef heifers sold for €415-690 over, while store heifers made €300-475 over the weight.
Balla Mart had an extremely lively sale that saw the average price per head improve by €246 on the same time last year. Good-quality, heavy bullocks made €1.57-2.47/kg, while forward stores sold for €1.61-2.40/kg and lighter bullocks made €1.72-2.52 /kg.
Store heifers made €1.83-2.77/kg and heavy heifers sold for €1.79-2.35/kg.
The 120 bull weanlings on offer met strong demand from export buyers, at prices of €1.71-2.92/kg for strong types and €1.57-2.98/kg for lighter bulls.
At Carnew, beef and forward store bullocks made €480-860 over the weight. Stores sold for €320-650 over while weanling bulls made €350-600 over the €/kg. Well-fleshed heifers sold for €480-720 over their weight and store heifers made €330-570 over. Heavy fat cull cows made up to €600 with their weight and cows for feeding sold for €120 over.
Ballinakill had its most expensive sale to date, with bullocks selling for up to €730 over the weight and best heifer prices of €710 over. Heavy steers sold for €1.85-2.21/kg, forward stores made €1.78-2.35/kg and lighter stores sold for €1.65-2.28/kg. Weanling bulls made €1.95-2.15/kg and weanling heifers sold for €1.70-2.40/kg.
In Ballymote Mart, exporters pushed steer prices to €350-400 over, while heifers sold for €320-400 over.
In Enniscorthy, Continental bull calves sold for €320-400 and heifers from €240-375, while Friesian bull calves for shipping made €130-182 and farmers bought heavier types at €220-275/hd.