There was no sign of any easing of the trade in the marts around the country over the past week. One mart manager maintained that "factory men were as hungry for beef at ringside during the week as they have been at any stage over the last two months".
Well-fleshed cows made up to €2.05/kg. Younger beef stock sold for prices around €2.45/kg, while quality store bullocks sold for €2.20-2.50 and plainer types made €1.70-2/kg.
Beef heifers sold for up to €2.44/kg, while good young suckler cows with calves at foot sold for €1,500-2,000/hd.
Numbers in general are relatively small, with some farmers opting to wait for a new tax year to sell. However, other farmers are anxious to buy in the current tax year and they have helped to keep the trade extremely buoyant.
Ballinakill Mart reported a good selling trade, with recent strong prices well maintained for all types. Heavy steers sold for €1.80-2.35/kg, while forward stores sold for €1.70-2.40/kg and the lighter types made €1.75-2.50/kg. Beef heifers made €1.70-2.25/kg, while store heifers sold for €1.62-2.30/kg. In the weanling section, bulls made €1.90-2.60/kg, while heifers sold for €1.70-2.28/kg. The best of the cull cows sold up to €1.95/kg and store cows made €1.20/kg upwards.
Ennis Mart had "more bite to the trade" this week, where factory agents were very active. Cull cows fit for slaughter sold for €2/kg and slightly more in cases. Heavy bullocks generally sold for €2-2.20/kg, up to a top price of €2.42/kg.
Forward stores made €2.10-2.15/kg, with plainer types selling for a little either side of the €2/kg. Nice Continental weanlings made €2.20-2.50/kg.
Ennis' first sale of the new year is on Tuesday, January 10.
Kilkenny Mart's final sale of the year had a great trade, with heavy beef bullocks selling for €2-2.47/kg. The top price was achieved when a Limousin steer weighing 660kg made €1,630. Continental forward stores made €2.10-2.18/kg, with Herefords making up to €1.97/kg. Stores weighing 400-500kg sold for €2.25-2.33/kg. Lighter stores made €2.30-2.54/kg, beef heifers sold for €1.90-2.44/kg, butcher types made €1.90-2.19/kg and stores made €2.10-2.41/kg. Weanling heifers ran at €2.05-2.90/kg and bulls made €2.10-3.04/kg. Continental cull cows sold for €1.80-2.15/kg and Friesian cows made €0.85-1.85/kg.
At Tuam Mart, steers over 500kg sold for €2.10-2.31/kg, steers of 400-500kg made €2.26-2.36/kg, heavy weanling bulls sold for €2.37-2.50/kg and bulls of 250-290kg traded for €2.54-2.84/kg. Heavy heifers sold for €2.14-2.27/kg. Heifers over 400kg made €2.16-2.27/kg.
Weanling heifers made €2.62-2.73/kg for the heavier lots, while lighter types sold for €2.41-2.80/kg. Heavy cull cows made €1.91-2.05/kg, or €570-795 over the weight. The top price for a cow with a calf at foot was €1,900, while cows in-calf sold for up to €1,525.
Heifers at Maam Cross sold for €2.10-2.52/kg, while bullocks made €2.02-2.84/kg.
Weanlings ran at €2.32-3.56/kg. Cull cow prices reached a high of €1,420/hd. The best of the sucklers sold for €1,500.
Sales resume on Saturday, January 14.
Dowra Mart had 320 cattle on offer at its final sale of the year. Store heifers made €350-700 over the weight, while weanlings sold for €300-600 over their weight.
A few choice lots for breeding made up to €850 with the weight, while store bullocks sold for €400-750 over the €/kg and heavy bull weanlings made €400-700 over.
Lighter bull weanlings sold for €300-650 over the weight. Quality dry cows made from €300-680 over, while feeding cows sold for €50-300 with the weight. Cows with calves at foot sold for €1,200-1,900, while in-calf cows made €1,200-1,700 each.