The trade at Carnew Mart’s special beef and store cattle sale held last Saturday was described by mart manager David Quinn as “on fire”.

Factory agents purchasing for domestic plants were keen for slaughter-fit and short-keep stock, leading to healthy competition not only between themselves, but also with Northern Irish buyers.

These top-quality Limousin-cross bullocks averaging 687kg and ranging in age from 30 March 2019 to 23 July 2019 sold for €1,800 (€2.62/kg).

There was close to 100 bullocks on offer weighing from 600kg to 740kg, which realised a super average price of €2.49/kg.

The majority of these fell within a tight price range of €2.35/kg to €2.65/kg, with a super Limousin-cross bullock weighing 740kg selling for €2,090 or €2.82/kg, while a top-quality Belgian Blue-cross bullock weighing 672kg also topped the €2,000 mark, selling for €3/kg.

These six Charolais and Simmental-cross bullocks averaging 705kg and born from 28 March 2019 to 7 March 2020 sold for €1,700 (€2.41/kg).

Over 100 bullocks weighing between 500kg and 600kg averaged €2.24/kg, with this cohort of animals including a significant number of Friesian and beef-dairy-crosses.

Prices for these plainer-type animals ranged from €1.88/kg to €2.20/kg, with good-quality U grading continentals selling from €2.35/kg to €2.60/kg.

Four Belgian Blue-cross bullocks averaging 512kg and born from 26 October 2019 to 28 October 2019 sold for €1,150 (€2.24/kg).

It was similar for cattle weighing 400kg to 500kg, with an average price of €2.18/kg.

Friesian cattle sold from €1.80/kg to €1.95/kg on average, while Angus and Hereford-crosses typically sold between €2.10/kg and €2.20/kg, with continental-crosses rising to €2.30/kg to €2.50/kg.

Five Hereford-cross bullocks weighing 500kg and born from 5 November 2019 to 27 November 2019 sold for €1,080 (€2.16/kg).

The trade for heifers closely mimicked bullocks. Heifers weighing 600kg to 700kg averaged €2.34/kg, with a handful of super-quality heifers selling from €2.60/kg to €2.90/kg, including a heavy Charolais-cross heifer weighing 768kg, which sold for €2,000.

This 554kg Charolais-cross heifer born 27 April 2019 sold for €1,170 (€2.11/kg).

Almost 80 heifers weighing between 500kg and 600kg averaged 533kg liveweight and with an average price per kilo of €2.32/kg, they sold for a fine average of €1,239 per head.

In the region of 60 heifers weighing between 400kg and 500kg achieved an average sale price of €2.21/kg.

Two fleshed Hereford-cross heifers weighing 640kg an born from 12 February 2018 to 4 March 2018 sold for €1,340 (€2.09/kg).

Dairy crossbreds and plainer-quality heifers with poor weight for age sold from €2.00/kg to €2.18/kg on average, with better-quality lots to €2.30/kg to €2.45/kg.

The cow trade has strengthened by €40 to €70 of late.

Friesian cows sold from €1/kg to €1.30/kg on average for cows straight from the parlour, with fleshed lots rising as high as €1.50/kg to €1.75/kg.

Weighing 688kg this top-quality Charolais heifer was born on on 8 April 2019 and sold for €1,980 (€2.88/kg).

Beef-bred cows sold from €1.70/kg to €2.00/kg for aged and average-quality lots, with good-quality fleshed and heavy cows from €2.00 to €2.36/kg.

Other lots

This top-quality Limousin-cross heifer born 16 October 2019 and weighing 624kg sold for €1,780 (€2.85/kg).

This Charolais-cross cow born February 2015 and weighing a massive 876kg sold for €2,000 (€2.28/kg).

This quality Limousin-cross cow weighing 794kg and born October 2012 sold for €1,770 (€2.23/kg).

Four Limousin and Charolais-cross bullocks weighing 672kg and born from 7 April 2019 to 18 February 2020 sold for €1,640 (€2.44/kg).

These four top-quality Charolais and Limousin-cross bullocks weighing 681kg and born from 2 April 2019 to 3 January 2020 sold for €1,780 (€2.61/kg).

This February 2020-born Limousin-cross heifer weighing 434kg sold for € 830 (€1.91/kg).

This May 2013-born Limousin-cross cow weighing 876kg sold for €1,920 (€2.17/kg).

This quality Limousin-cross heifer weighing 698kg sold for €1,840 (€2.68/kg).