Having slipped slightly in recent weeks, the heifer trade has recovered over the last seven days, especially for heavier animals.
The average price paid for a 600kg heifer this week was €2.72/kg, up 6c/kg or €36/head on the previous week.
The top third of heifers in this weight bracket are up by the same margin to an average price of €2.96/kg.
Converting this to deadweight, it is equivalent to a beef price paid in excess of €5.40/kg for the top end of heifers.
Heifers from 400kg to 500kg are up €12/head to €15/head this week at an average price of €2.48/kg/.
Looking at the same week last year, prices are running 15c/kg or between €60/head and €75/head ahead of the 2021 trade.
Interestingly, those in the top third are currently running over 20c/kg ahead of the same point last year, while the bottom third are only 8c/kg ahead of 2021 levels.
Trade for bullocks at heavier weights and for better-quality types remains steady ringside.
At the bottom end of the market, there has been some easing of prices with dairy and dairy-beef types taking the brunt of this reduction.
This is especially evident in the south, where grass supplies remain an issue, which is seeing some farmers sell these stock types earlier than usual.
Heavy bullocks over 600kg are averaging €2.50/kg, while the bottom third are back 15c/kg this week to €2.18/kg.
Heavier weanling bulls were well up last week, but have slipped again over the last seven days.
This sees the average price for a 400kg to 450kg bull sit at €2.61/kg.
Comparing the weanling trade to the same week last year, there is only around €25/head extra available to producers, which will do little to cover the increased costs incurred this year.
At lighter weights, the price differential to last year is slightly greater. This week, the average price for a 300kg to 400kg bull weanling sits at €2.72/kg compared with €2.57/kg for the same week last year, an increase of between €45 and €60/head on 2021 levels.
The number of weanling heifers being turned out remains quite small.
The average price this week for a 200kg to 300kg weanling heifer is €2.53/kg, which is actually behind the same week last year.
Those weighing 300kg to 400kg averaged €2.64/kg this week, while the top third are still making in excess of €3/kg.
The cow trade remains very positive and with the return of wholesalers to the market, this looks set to continue in the coming weeks.
The average price for cows is €2.27/kg up almost 10c/kg on the week.
For well-conformed suckler-bred cows, prices of €2.80/kg to €3/kg are being reported, while the average suckler cow is making between €2.50/kg and €2.80/kg.
Dairy cows with a decent level of flesh are making over the €2/kg mark.