The latest mart throughput data published by the Department of Agriculture shows there were 180,000 bovines traded through the country’s network of over 90 livestock marts in September 2023.

Throughput in August had been running over 20,000 head lower year on year, but sales recovered strongly in September 2023, running over 14,000 head higher than in September 2022.

The number of animals presented for sale but returning home unsold was recorded at 10,113 head, just shy of 1,000 head lower than September 2022.

Reports suggest sales figures for August were curtailed by a challenging summer encouraging farmers to delay presenting cattle in a bid to compensate for lower performance.

This trend appears to have followed through to October, with mart throughput once again affected by inclement weather and cutting the grazing season short.

Regional breakdown

As detailed in Table 1, marts in Munster dominated throughput accounting for 76,794 sales or some 42.3% of total sales. This is slightly lower than the normal breakdown of 45% of sales taking place in Munster.

Sales in Connacht were boosted by the weanling trade, with 44,654 animals traded representing almost 25% of throughput. Throughput in marts in Connacht exceeded Leinster for the first time this year with September, October and November generally recording higher levels of throughput.