The general cattle sale of dry cows, bullocks and heifers in Tullamore Mart last Thursday typified the demand that is being seen ringside, as ever-improving factory prices caused an insatiable appetite for finished cattle.
With factories struggling to fill quotas, agents are being forced to battle ringside, which was prevalent at the midlands mart last week.
Mart manager Antoinette Daly reported a very strong interest in fleshed cattle weighing 480kg and upwards in both the bullock and heifer ring, with cull cows also holding firm on price. Buyers were active ringside and online.
Demand was highest for fleshed or short-keep cattle, with average prices reflecting that demand.
Farmers were active for some of the lighter store types. Heifers from 300kg to 435kg sold between €2.12/kg and €2.98/kg to an average of €2.65/kg, while those between 435kg and 500kg sold from €2.32/kg to €3.13/kg to an average of €2.75/kg.
Heavier factory-fit heifers between 500kg and 600kg sold between €2.28/kg and €3.18/kg to an average of €2.82/kg, while those over the 600kg mark sold between €2.60/kg to €3.11/kg to an average of €2.85/kg, which is 53c/kg ahead of the same period last year.
A good deal of the bullocks on sale were factory fit or forward stores, with agents from factories competing heavily against one another around the ring.
A high percentage of the bullocks passing through were of dairy-beef origin.
Bullocks weighing 300kg to 435kg sold between €2.19/kg and €2.72/kg, while those from 435kg to 500kg sold between €2.08/kg and €3.07/kg to an average of €2.52/kg.
Heavier stores and factory-fit bullocks between 500kg and 600kg sold between €1.98/kg and €3.10/kg to an average of €2.72/kg, while lots over 600kg sold between €2.21/kg and €3.22/kg to an average of €2.76/kg, which is 29c/kg ahead on the same period last year.
Similar to the bullocks and heifers, factory agents were extremely active for the 64 cows that were on offer, making up just under 20% of the total.
Quality U grading fleshed continentals sold anywhere between €2.30/kg and €2.88/kg, while lesser-type sucklers and some dairy cows sold back to as low as €1.38/kg for P grades.
With a 100% clearance, average price per kg was €2.29/kg, a 51c/kg jump on the January 2021 price, which was at €1.78/kg.