Rathfriland Co-op Mart had a big entry of over 500 cattle at last Friday’s special Christmas show and sale of cattle.
The annual sale always attracts some of the best quality cattle from the region and Friday’s sale didn’t disappoint.
Younger calves also met a solid demand, with £550 (€639) being paid for a four- month-old Limousin bull calf.
It’s a similar story in a lot of marts over the last number of weeks, with the ‘runner’ rings - which they are known as - seeing some very good prices for continental calves.
Weanlings were the highlight of the trade on the night, with a top call of £3.18/kg (€3.70/kg) paid for a 380kg Limousin bull weanling selling for £1,210 (€1,406).
Angus cattle were also in demand, with a 454kg pen of bullocks selling for £1,060 (€1,232). Weanling heifers topped out at £1,170 (€1,360) paid for a 404kg Charolais weanling.
Cull cows also met good demand, with the top price going to a 716kg Charolais cow selling for €2,093.
Top call in the beef cattle section went to a Limousin-cross bullock born in July 2022 and weighing 578kg sellingfor £1,800 (€2,067) (£3.11/kg) (€3.57/kg).
Top price in the beef heifer section went to a Limousin heifer weighing 680kg and selling for £2,150 (€2,500).
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Rathfriland Mart’s assistant manager Kenny Dodds said: “The weanlings was probably the highlight of the trade last Friday, with some exceptional prices being paid for the top-quality weanlings in the sale.
“Butchers and agents were also very active for fat cattle to fill Christmas orders.
“We had an unfortunate incident at Tuesday night’s sheep sale where a trailer was stolen from the yard. The trailer was a Hudson tri-axle trailer with sheep hurdles attached to both sides and anyone with any information is asked to contact the mart or the police.”
The weekly sheep sale in Rathfriland takes place every Tuesday night, with this week’s sale also seeing a brisk trade.
Top price in the lamb section went to a pen of 32kg lambs selling for £82 (€95/head).
Fat ewes topped out at £156 (€181/head) with plainer fat ewes back at £120 to £140 (€139 to €162).
Lambs in the 40kg to 44kg weight bracket were selling from £107 to £120 (€124 to €139/head).
Rathfriland Mart’s next sale of cattle takes place this Friday 17 November and will include a special clearance sale of 21 suckler cows with calves at foot. Online bidding will be available for the sale on the Martbids app.