Drumshanbo Mart in Co Leitrim is a short drive across the border from Northern Ireland (NI) and that’s proving a big advantage, given the demand in NI for feeding cattle at the moment.
Dry cows and forward heifers have been most in demand from NI customers in recent weeks and have really helped to underpin the trade.
Close to 100 dry cows and 25 sucklers went through the ring last Friday night.
Cows weighing over 700kg averaged €1.87/kg, with some cows in this category factory-fit selling for €2/kg to €2.20/kg.
Cows weighing 600kg-plus were averaging €1.89/kg, while factory-fit cows in this weight bracket also crossed €2/kg.
Lighter feeding-type cows were in demand, with those at 500kg-plus averaging €1.73/kg and the top cows in this weight bracket hitting €2.19/kg.
Sucklers topped at €1,720 and averaged €1,190, with good demand for top-quality outfits.
Ring two saw heifers and weanling heifers go under the hammer, with a steady trade and great money for any heifer suitable for breeding.
The trade in this ring was again fuelled by a strong demand from NI farmers and agents.
Heifers weighing 500kg and over averaged €2.33/kg. Heifers weighing 400kg and over averaged €2.51/kg, with the top heifers in this category averaging well over €3/kg.
Lighter weanling heifers under 400kg and above 300kg were also selling well, averaging €2.37/kg.
Ring three saw a lightning trade for bull weanlings, with big money being paid for choice lots.
The average price of 300kg-plus bulls was €2.97/kg. Lighter autumn bulls around 200kg to 300kg were a super trade with “grass buyers starting to turn out for lighter stock”, according to mart manager Eoin Kane.
These bulls were topping out at €3.53/kg, with an average of €2.85/kg. The sale had a few bulls over 500kg through the ring, with these bulls averaging €2.33/kg.