The mart ring continues to be the best choice for heavy cattle this week. Prices for factory-finished animals have reduced in factories, but show no signs of easing in marts around the country.

Northern demand is underpinning a lot of the prices being paid, with a lot of NI agents remaining very active in marts for finished animals.

This has seen the price for top-end 600kg-plus heifers improve by 3c/kg this week. These heifers came in at €2.88/kg last week.

Average heifers in the same weight bracket came in at €2.63/kg, up 2c/kg on last week.

Heavy heifers

Heavy Angus and Hereford dairy-cross heifers came in at €2.39/kg, a similar price to last week.

Moving to the bullock rings, there wasn’t a lot of change in the last week. Top-end heavy bullocks in the 600kg-plus weight category came in at €2.78/kg this week, with lighter bullocks in the 500kg to 600kg bracket coming in at €2.85/kg.

Top quality 400kg to 500kg bullocks crossed the €3/kg mark, with these bullocks selling at €3.05/kg this week.

Speaking to mart managers around the country, they say the mart trade is holding up remarkably well, despite the beef trade negativity in recent weeks.

Weanling trade

The weanling trade continues to perform very well, with top-end bull weanlings in the 300kg to 400kg weight category selling at €3.40/kg this week.

Heifer weanlings are back a little this week, with top-end animals in the 300kg to 400kg weight bracket selling for €3.05/kg this week.

Weanling exports continue to underpin the trade. While the short-term outlook is positive for weanling exports, the longer-term outlook is less clear, with currency fluctuations in the middle east leading some buyers to take a cautious approach.