There was a strong turnout at Gortatlea Mart’s E and U grade weanling bull sale on Wednesday evening.
Including the runners at the beginning of the sale, 690 animals went through the ring on the night and trade was brisk to say the least.
Strong beef prices are driving demand for young stock at present and this was very evident.
E grade potential bull weanling were comfortably making in excess of €3.80/kg and at the top end of the sale a share of them made over €4/kg.
Bulls from 300kg to 350kg were generally selling for between €3.30/kg and €3.60/kg and a share of heavy well-muscled bulls over 450kg sold for similar money.
Heavier bulls over 400kg that were at the lower end of the E and U conformation stakes were making back to €2.90/kg. There was a share of light store bullocks on offer on the night.
One-year-old Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €2.60/kg to €2.80/kg, while Friesian bullocks sold for up to €2.20/kg.
Top price on the night went to a 385kg Belgian Blue bull that sold for €1,760 (€4.57/kg).
Speaking after the sale, mart manager Maurice Brosnan said: “The quality was excellent for the weanlings and it was an easy night’s sale with both buyers and sellers happy.
“There were prices at this sale the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Most bulls were making over €3/kg and there was a few really well-muscled ones that made over €4/kg.”
Brosnan put the high prices down to the demand in Europe for beef, which is resulting in farmers being well rewarded.
This money was filtering back and was putting a very strong floor on the weanling trade.
They’re going back out to replace what they’ve sold and they are competing well with exporters
“Farmers were competing well at the weanling sale. I’d say there was a 60:40 split at the weanling sale between farmers and exporters,” he said.
“That’s down to the fact farmers are getting properly paid for their final produce and they’re going back out to replace what they’ve sold and they are competing well with exporters.
“We had continental bullocks at Friday’s sale that were comfortably making €3.20 to €3.70. With prices like that, farmers selling those stock have the confidence to come back to these weanling sales to replace cattle. It’s hard to put a value on stock at the moment, especially when they are getting scarcer and prices have been rising.”