Trade across all categories at Kilkenny Mart's general cattle sale on Thursday can only be described as on fire.

First through the weigh bridge was the cows, which saw prices rise up to €1,900.

Young cows with sufficient fat cover started at €2.10/kg and sold up to €2.38/kg.

Such was the demand for the good-quality lots on offer, the top third of lots sold averaged over €2/kg.

Younger well-fed dairy stock also held their own, selling up to €1.90/kg. This helped to boost overall cow average to €1.73/kg, up 9c on the week.

Snapped up

Buyers remain eager on the ground for stock suitable for direct slaughter or for a short period of feeding.

Most of these lots are being snapped up by factory agents or specialised agents who know of the tight supplies on hand for the next months.

This eagerness is driving fed cattle prices up another level, with prices up 5c/kg in the heifers and nearly 10c/kg on the bullocks. This difference is substantially more for the better-quality lots.

Continental cattle

Most noticeable was the demand for top-quality heavy continental cattle, which saw average price rest at a massive €2.75/kg.

This was led by a batch of four Limousin bullocks weighing 635kg that sold for €2.88/kg or €1,830/head.

Fat heifers sold to €2.60, but these were much lighter on the ground compared with steers.

Short-keep lots of heifers pushing up to 600kg in weight were seen passing the €2.60/kg mark on the odd occasion, selling to a top of €2.64/kg.

Bullocks again pushed that bit further than the heifers in the short-keep weight sub-600kg.

One set of Limousin bullocks weighing 585kg topped out at €2.89/kg.

Dairy bullocks hitting the fat score and heavy weights were also in very high demand, selling over €2/kg to a top of €2.13/kg.

In pictures

These five two-year-old Limousin bullocks had an average weight of 635kg and sold for €1,830 (€2.89/kg).

This 27-month-old Friesian bullock weighed 765kg and sold for €1,630 (€2.13/kg).

This 740kg Charolais bullock born April 2019 sold for €1,830 (€2.47/kg).

This yearling Charolais bullock weighed 405kg and sold for €1,170 (€2.89/kg).

This 12-year-old Simmental cow weighed 665kg and sold for €1,130 (€1.70/kg).

This 680kg Limousin cow born in 2015 sold for €1,480 (€2.18/kg).

This eight-year-old Blue cow weighed 640kg and sold for €1,190 (€1.86/kg).

This 28-month-old Blue bullock weighed 540kg and sold for €1,240 (€2.30/kg).

This seven-year-old Parthenaise cow weighed 715kg and sold for €1,420 (€1.99/kg).

This five-year-old Charolais cow weighed 790kg and sold for €1,760 (€2.23/kg).

This 10-year-old Charolais cow weighed 765kg and sold for €1,580 (€2.07/kg).

This two-year-old Friesian cow weighed 575kg and sold for €1,090 (€1.90/kg).

This two-year-old Friesian cow weighed 605kg and sold for €1,110 (€1.83/kg).

This five-year-old Hereford-cross cow weighed 680kg and sold for €1,220 (€1.79/kg).

This four-year-old Friesian cow weighed 560kg and sold for €880 (€1.57/kg).

This five-year-old Friesian cow weighed 635kg and sold for €1,050 (€1.65/kg).

This four-year-old Limousin cow weighed 610kg and sold for €1,400 (€2.30/kg).