Castlerea Mart in Co Roscommon recorded an entry of over 800 head at its weekly sale of heifers, weanling bulls and heifers, dry cows and calves on Thursday.
Within this, there was almost 180 weanling bulls on offer.
Top-quality bulls recorded a brisk trade, with more farmer buyers in attendance, while specialist finishers and live exporters were active for suitable bulls.
Half of the bulls on offer were in the 300kg to 400kg weight bracket. According to MartBids price analysis, the average price here was recorded at €2.57/kg.
The top third of bulls in this weight category averaged a price of €3.12/kg, with a top price of €3.90/kg paid for a June 2021-born Charolais bull weighing 300kg.
There was a significant variation across all categories of stock between top-quality and plainer-quality cattle. The bottom third of bulls weighing 300kg to 400kg averaged €2.27/kg, with prices ranging from €2.06/kg to €2.56/kg.
There was also a significant volume of bulls weighing less than 300kg, with just shy of 60 bulls in this weight bracket. The average price recorded was €2.62/kg.
The best-quality bulls again topped €3/kg. The average price here was dragged back by dairy crossbreds, with Angus-, Hereford- and Simmental-crosses, some of which exhibited poor weight for age, selling from €1.90/kg to €2.37/kg.
The remaining cohort of bulls weighing from 400kg to 545kg averaged a price of €2.55/kg.
The majority of these were nice-quality Charolais- and Limousin-cross bulls, with prices ranging in the main from €2.40/kg to €2.80/kg, with a handful of bulls weighing from 500kg to 545kg selling from €2.30/kg to €2.50/kg.
Heifers weighing 400kg to 500kg averaged €2.47/kg, with the top third of heifers averaging €2.75/kg and the bottom third at €2.17/kg.
There was keen demand for slaughter-fit and short-keep heifers and this lifted the average price for lots weighing 500kg to 600kg to €2.67/kg. The trade for top-quality heifers was vibrant and this is reflected in a fine average of €2.94/kg for heifers.
There was a small number of heifers weighing in excess of 600kg, with prices here following a similar trend. The average price was recorded at €2.57/kg, with the top third topping €2.90/kg and the bottom third settling at €2.41/kg.
Meanwhile, weanling heifers sold on average for €2.47/kg for lots weighing 300kg to 400kg. Lighter lots weighing less than 300kg sold on average for €2.78/kg, with the top third averaging €3.40/kg.