Despite running late in the year, demand for top-quality weanlings proved extremely strong in Gortatlea Mart last week.
While the majority of the main weanling trade has gone through the ring already, the lighter, later-born stock continue to fetch high prices.
Speaking after the weekly weanling sale, mart manager Maurice Brosnan said: “Generally, buyers are scarcer this time of year as people have sheds full and buying done for the year.
"We are starting to see them plainer types harder sold, but there are still extremely good prices for anything with a bit of quality.
“The general trade for more forward feeding cattle is savage, with all feed lots back in action. Good Angus are sailing into €2.30/kg to €2.40/kg, with the exceptional continentals up to €3/kg.”
Leading prices on the night were young heifer weanlings, which saw prices hit over €3/kg.
Leading the way was a 375kg Charolais heifer that sold for €1,190 (€3.17/kg). This was closely followed by a Charolais heifer also weighing 375kg that sold for €1,180 (€3.15/kg).
Top of the Limousin heifers on offer was a 352kg animal that sold for €960 or €2.72/kg.
Overall, weanling heifers weighing 300kg to 400kg saw prices range from €2/kg upwards, with €2.50/kg-plus easily achievable for better continental lots.
Charolais heifers in the same weight bracket averaged at €2.52/kg, with Limousins at €2.41/kg.
Weanling bulls of the same weight saw prices top out at €2.92/kg. This was paid for a 305kg Charolais that sold for €890.
Next in line was a Limousin heifer that weighed 315kg and sold for €890 (€2.83/kg).
Overall, Charolais bull weanlings from 300kg to 400kg sold for an average of €2.44/kg, with Limousin bulls at €2.40/kg.
There were heavier weanling bulls on offer, with those exceeding 400kg seeing the top end surpass €2.40/kg.
Highest price for heavier bull weanling lots was a 500kg Charolais bull that sold for €1,220 or €2.44/kg.
First-cross dairy-beef stock born in the spring were higher in number, with prices selling up to €2.32/kg for Angus bulls.
Continental-sired dairy-beef females sold slightly higher than this, peaking at €2.43/kg for a Limousin that weighed 305kg.
A small number of autumn-born dairy calves generally started at €70 for full Friesian and sold up to €280 for continental calves.