It was another positive day of trade on Thursday 9 December at Castlerea Mart, Co Roscommon, for its weekly sale of heifers, cows and weanlings.
By close of business, over 92% of the 550 head offered for sale had found new homes on the day.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal after the sale, mart manager Brendan Egan said that demand for shorter-keep cattle remains extremely high, with farmers, factory agents and northern buyers all vying for numbers.
“There was strong competition for short-keep cattle. Heifers from 500kg to 600kg averaged €2.31/kg, which was up 7c/kg on the previous week.
“A lot of buyers are replenishing stock numbers these few weeks having sent cattle to the factory in the run-up to Christmas.
“There was a number of overage cattle in the sale and they were still making big money – a sure sign that numbers are tight.”
Heifers from 400kg to 500kg were averaging around the €2.30/kg mark also, with the top third of heifers exceeding an average of €2.50/kg.
Lighter heifers that will need to see grass next year were still meeting steady farmer demand, with those in the 350kg to 400kg weight band averaging €2.23/kg, again up over 7c/kg on the previous week.
It was mostly farmer buyers that were active for weanlings, with prices running at a similar level to recent weeks.
A decent entry of weanling bulls saw those weighing 200kg to 300kg average €2.62/kg, with really nice-quality Charolais and Limousin types exceeding the €3/kg mark on a number of occasions.
In the 300kg to 400kg weight bracket, the average price was €2.40/kg. Heifers from 200kg to 300kg averaged €2.72/kg, while heavier types from 300kg to 400kg averaged €2.63/kg.
There was almost 120 dry cows forward for sale and demand remains solid in line with recent weeks at an average price of €1.85/kg.
The bottom third of cows averaged €1.17/kg and comprised mostly of dairy cows and some older feeder-type suckler cows. Well-fleshed continental cows made in excess of €2.15/kg on numerous occasions.
Brendan concluded by thanking all their customers for their support over the last year and wished everyone a happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2022.
The mart recommences trading on Thursday 13 January.