Live exporters continue to dominate the buying activity in mart rings around the country.

A number of leading exporters continue to be very active purchasing weanlings for a number of big contracts in eastern Europe and North Africa.

Viastar, the northeast-based livestock exporting company loaded close to 2,500 bulls onto the Shorthorn Express in Greenore port at the weekend. This load is on its way to Morocco and it is expected back for another load very shortly given the demand that exists in the North African market.

Live exports of store cattle are currently running at 5,708 head during the first three months of 2024, up from 3,427 head during the same period in 2023. Adult cattle exports have also soared with 11,325 head exported so far, up 50% or almost 4,000 head on the 2023 figure.

The outlook is very positive with disease restrictions across Europe underpinning the demand for Irish cattle.

There were 17,326 cattle exported in the week beginning 18 March, 15,311 of which were calves.

Back home, the beef trade continues on a steady footing. Bullocks are working off a base price of €5.10/kg to €5.20/kg with heifers working off a base price of €5.20/kg to €5.30/kg.

Cows are also in demand with good well-fleshed R grading cows now trading at €4.60/kg and above it where numbers are involved.