The autumn cattle trade took a big jump in the last week resulting in a perfect storm for cattle sellers. A scarcity in finished cattle supplies in Northern Ireland and Britain has injected life into the live trade.

Factory agents, farmers and exporters are all competing for stock with price increases of up to €100/head for forward stores over the last week.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, interim Elphin mart manager Ciaran Lynch said “I’ve never seen anything like it. The trade is on fire for top-quality suckler stock. We had three English customers bidding for heifers online at this week’s sale.”

Last week’s cattle kill dropped for the third week in a row by almost 1,200 head, forcing factory agents into marts to source stock.

The number of cattle being exported for direct slaughter to Northern Ireland almost doubled in the last three weeks, with 1,020 head exported last week, the highest weekly number so far in 2023.