Friday last saw Rathfriland Mart host its weekly cattle sale where 79 calves and runners (two- to five-month-old calves), along with 35 weanlings, heifers and bullocks, as well as some dry cows and suckler cows, went through the ring.

With an almost-100% clearance, there was a great demand for a reduced number of cattle at the sale compared with recent weeks.

This February 2020-born Belgian Blue bullock weighed 428kg and sold for £915 (€1,056).

The drop calf trade remained strong, with demand outweighing supply this week. Friesian bull calves saw an improved trade, with these averaging close to £200 (€231).

This 2014-born Aberdeen Angus cow with her March 2021 born Limousin calf at foot sold for £1,500 (€1,732).

Continental-bred bull and heifer calves sold for an average of £305 (€352). While Hereford and Angus calves were slightly behind the previous week’s price, there was still demand for good calves, which averaged £195 (€225).

This 2013-born Fresian cow weighed 700kg and sold for £990 (€1,143).

Weanlings saw a trade similar to the rest of the country, where quality stood out. Continental-bred heifers saw a strong demand, with lighter heifers around the 230kg to 300kg bracket in particular demand, with these heifers averaging £620 (€716).

This April-born Simmental heifer calf sold for £340 (€392).

The demand for lower-quality bulls was back on previous weeks, with dairy-bred weanling bulls averaging £510/head (€589). Continental-born bulls averaged £740 (€854).

This April-born Limousin heifer calf sold for £300 (€346).

With a small show of bullocks and heifers on offer, heifers averaged £690 (€797) for an average weight of 405kg. Store bullocks saw an improved trade, with those weighing 430kg to 520kg averaging £2/kg. Lighter bullocks were mainly dairy-bred and these sold to average £1.50/kg. Heavy bullocks weighing 520kg-plus sold for an average of £1.90/kg.

This April 2020-born Aberdeen Angus bull weighed 654kg and sold for £1,310 (€1513).

Dry cows saw a strong trade for factory-fit cows, with these seeing a sale average of £1.58/kg. Lighter cows suitable for feeding had a slightly lower average at around £1.45/kg. Sucklers were also a good trade, selling from £1,100 to £1,500.