Five-hundred cattle were on offer at Ballina Mart’s weekly sale on Tuesday, as numbers ease off for the time of year, with mart manager Billy Loftus describing it as a “roaring trade for beef and store cattle with exporters competing for cattle with factory and feedlot agents”.
Northern Ireland customers and feedlot buyers were active around the ring for well-fleshed cattle, as well as any Angus-cross cattle present, with farmer demand for lighter stores high throughout the sale.
Bullocks weighing from 401kg to 500kg sold from €2.25 to €3.52/kg, averaging €2.80/kg, while bullocks from 501kg to 600kg sold from €2.65 to €3.38/kg, averaging €2.98/kg.
Heavier bullocks were in shorter supply, which saw buyers competing hard to secure numbers, with bullocks weighing 601kg to 700kg selling from €2.82 to €3.13/kg, averaging €2.99/kg overall.
Some top prices among bullocks were a 696kg Limousin-cross bullock selling for €2,180 (€3.22/kg) and a Charolais-cross bullock that weighed 440kg and sold for €1,550 (€3.52/kg).
Similar to bullocks, Northern Ireland customers and feedlot buyers drove demand for heavier, short-keep cattle, which saw the average price per kg for heavy heifers surpass lighter heifers.
Farmers were active for lighter-type store heifers. Heifers weighing between 401kg and 500kg sold from €2.20 to €3.98/kg, averaging €2.85. Heifers between 501kg and 600kg sold from €2.41 to €3.14/kg, averaging €2.75/kg.
Heavy heifers between 601kg and 700kg sold from €2.79 to €3.65/kg, averaging €3.14/kg, with particular demand for any factory-fit Angus heifers and quality continental types.
Some top prices in the heifers was a Limousin-cross weighing 672kg selling for €2,450 (€3.65/kg), while a Charolais-cross heifer weighing 464kg sold for €1,850 (€3.98/kg).
Cull cow numbers remained high, with farmers opting to bring fleshed cows to the mart. Several factory agents were noticeable around the ring, with heated bidding for quality factory-fit cows.
Cows weighing 501kg to 600kg averaged €2.25/kg to a top of €2.86/kg, with cows weighing between 601kg and 700kg averaging €2.46/kg to a top of €3.20/kg.