With finishing cattle numbers tightening by the week and positivity around where the beef market is heading - at least in the short to medium term - feedlots have been given the nod in recent days to go and secure numbers of feeding cattle once again.

It has had a positive effect on the ringside trade, with many categories of stock seeing a price lift on the previous seven days. This, along with the fact that the number of cattle being offered for sale continues to decline week on week, is playing into the hands of the seller at the moment.


A positive week in the bullock ring saw nearly all weight categories see a price lift, but it was most apparent for stores ranging from 470kg to 520kg up almost 10c/kg on the previous seven days.

It leaves the average price paid for a 400kg to 500kg bullock at €2.41/kg, while those from 500kg to 600kg averaged €2.51/kg. The top third of bullocks are commanding 30c/kg to 40c/kg above the average price paid.

One sure sign of cattle numbers being tight is a reducing price differential between the average and bottom third of stock.

This was seen over the past week in the 400kg to 500kg weight range, with the bottom third now making €1.97/kg, up 13c/kg on the week.

For heavier bullocks, the trade over the past week has been more steady, with the average price remaining unchanged at €2.47/kg putting a 650kg animal into a price of €1,605/head.


It is green arrows right across the board for heifers this week, with some special breeding heifer sales boosting the prices in the upper weight categories, but light weights have enjoyed a price boost as well.

On average, prices are up 10c/kg on the week. It sees the average price of a 400kg to 500kg heifer at €2.44/kg, while those from 500kg to 600kg averaged €2.57/kg.


The number of weanlings on offer this week was similar to the previous week and overall prices remain positive.

However, the price is very dependent on the quality of the animal forward for sale.

Where quality is on show, even at lighter weights, there is a strong demand for stock.

There was a big price lift this week in bull weanlings over 400kg. However, overall numbers in this weight range remain quite small.

At lighter weights, trade was slightly easier than the previous week. The average price paid for a 300kg to 400kg bull weanling was €2.69/kg, while heifers of the same weight averaged €2.62/kg.

At lighter weights, heifers from 200kg to 300kg averaged €2.60/kg. However, across both heifers and bulls, the top third of stock are still commanding prices well in excess of €3/kg.


The cow trade remains positive, with the World Cup driving demand for manufacturing beef.

The return of northern buyers has also helped to underpin the trade in recent weeks. Cows carrying flesh are in big demand, especially suckler-bred types that are fit or almost fit for slaughter.