There doesn't seem to be any let up in the extremely strong mart trade, with quite a few marts reporting an improvement in prices over the past week.
Extra farmer buying ensured a strong store trade, while keen factory interest meant that any well-fleshed stock met with very good prices. Good, prime cattle made well in excess of €2/kg and heavy continental cull cows made up to €1.65/kg (€630 over the weight). The top price for fat Friesian cows was €1.50/kg and suckler cows with a calf at foot ranged from €1,000-1,600 generally.
On Saturday, Balla Mart had 650hd on offer and prices for all types were up €20-40 on the previous week. Compared with the same day last year, the average price was up by a massive €246/hd. Good-quality, heavy bullocks made €1.44-2.31/kg (€400-685 with their weight). Forward stores sold for €1.47-2.47/kg, while lighter bullocks made €1.94-2.67 /kg.
Strong weanling bulls sold for €1.70-2.17 /kg, while the lighter types made €1.87-2.72/kg. Demand outstripped supply for the 450 cattle on offer at Kilkenny Mart. Trade was very sharp, with beef heifers selling to a top price of €2.10/kg and well-fleshed steers peaking at €2.15/kg. Continental beef bullocks sold for €2-2.15/kg. Forward store bullocks generally made €1.80-2.17, while a few top quality lots sold up to a high of €2.36/kg.
Continental stores under 400kg sold for €2.56/kg while Friesians made €1.90-2.11/kg. Apart from a 400kg Belgian Blue that made (€2.65/kg), the bulk of butcher and beef type heifers sold for €1.75-2.05/kg.
Numbers were up at Carnew Mart, where there were 850 cattle on offer. All classes were improved by €20hd, and beef and forward store bullocks made €450-820 over their weight. Light stores sold for €320-650 over.
The best of the weanling bulls made as much as €1,000 over the €1/kg, while the rest sold from €350 over and upwards. Well-fleshed heifers sold for €400-720 with the weight and stores made €320-655 over. Cull cows made €150-630 over and cows with calves at foot sold for €950-1,600/unit.
Both numbers and the trade were up at Dowra Mart, where dry cows made €200-500 with the weight. A good entry of forward store heifers made €300-700 over. Light store bullocks and bull weanlings sold for €250-600 over the €1/kg. A smaller selection of cows with calves at foot made €900-1,400.
There were 450 cattle on offer at Ballinakill Mart, where some excellent-quality, heavy cattle made up to €795 over.
In general, heavy steers and forward stores sold for €400-750 with the weight. Lighter stores made €300-680 over the €/kg. Beef heifers made €280-550 over and stores sold for €200-420 over.
Export-type heifers around 400kg in weight met a very strong trade at Ballymote Mart and sold up to €500 over the €1/kg.
Store bullocks sold for €300-400 over. Fleshy cows made up to €400 over their weight and cows for further feeding sold for upwards of €150 with the weight.