Athenry Mart’s spring show and sale of cattle on Tuesday witnessed a vibrant trade for slaughter-fit stock while finishers were keen for short-keep cattle that could be turned again after 60 to 80 days.
Bullocks in the 600kg plus weight category averaged €2.12/kg.
Within this, Friesian bullocks from 600kg to 660kg sold from €1.67/kg to €1.80/kg while dairy crossbreds sold from €1.90/kg to €2.10/kg and higher in cases.
Aged bullocks sold for in the region of €2.00/kg to €2.15/kg, with some prizewinning lots and cattle which would be deemed out of spec on age and weight and weighing from 800kg to 1,000kg and higher showing the strength in demand and selling to €2.20/kg.
Friesian bullocks born in spring 2019 sold from €1.60/kg to €1.80/kg with plainer-quality dairy crossbreds rising to €2/kg and selling to €2.10/kg to €2.15/kg for better-quality types.
Manager Brian Hogan said the trade for continental stores was helped by strong competition between farmers buying cattle for summer grazing and specialist finishers keen to source short-keep stock. This saw the top third of bullocks in this weight category average a fine price of €2.50/kg, with the best-quality lots rising to €2.60/kg.
Heifers followed a similar trend. Those weighing in excess of 600kg averaged €2.28/kg. Plainer-quality and overage cattle sold from €2.05/kg to €2.15/kg while nice-quality Charolais and Limousin heifers sold from €2.25/kg to €2.45/kg on average with a standout price of €2,000, or €2.86/kg, paid for a super 700kg 23-month-old Belgian Blue.
Buyers looking for grass cattle again locked horns with specialist finishers for heifers weighing 500kg to 600kg.
The average price was recorded at €2.31/kg ranging from €2.00/kg upwards for a small number of plainer-quality traditional-bred animals to €2.20/kg for better-quality Angus heifers while top-quality R and U grading heifers sold from €2.35/kg to €2.55/kg in the main and hit as high as €2.70/kg for the best-quality lots. Prices in the 450kg to 500kg bracket were similar.