Tullamore Mart's general cattle sale held on Thursday recorded a lightning trade, with prices paid for slaughter-fit stock continuing to grab the headlines.

A selection of quality heavy dry cows weighing in excess of 800kg topped the €3/kg mark, with two Charolais cows weighing 860kg and 815kg selling in a rapid trade for €2,870 (€3.34/kg) and €2,690 €3.30/kg) respectively.

Dry cows weighing between 700kg and 800kg also recorded excellent prices, with Charolais-sired cows averaging around the €2.80/kg mark, while other continental cows averaged from €2.80/kg to €2.90/kg.

Prices for Friesian cows averaged from €2.10/kg to €2.25/kg. Lighter Friesian cows weighing 600kg to 700kg averaged around the €2/kg mark, with average prices eased back by plainer-type cows or cows lacking flesh.

Insatiable demand

There was an insatiable demand for slaughter-fit bullocks and heifers.

Relatively small numbers of heavy bullocks weighing 700kg to 800kg hit top prices of €3/kg and higher, with a top price per kilo of €2,240 or €3.05/kg for a 735kg Charolais-cross bullock.

The average price of Charolais bullocks averaged €2.93/kg, with quality continental bullocks selling from €2.80/kg to €3/kg.

There was some excellent-quality Charolais-cross bullocks in the 600kg to 700kg weight category on offer, with a selection of these weighing from 630kg to 650kg selling from €2,050/head to €2,240 or from €3.20/kg to a top of €3.43/kg.

Continental bullocks here ranged in price from €2.75/kg to €3.00/kg, with a small number of dairy-crosses and plainer-quality types from €2.60/kg upwards.

Similar trend

It was a similar trend for bullocks weighing 500kg to 600kg, with the best-quality continental forward stores topping €3/kg, with general prices ranging from €2.90/kg to €3.10/kg, while traditional breed crosses bred from the dairy herd selling from €2.65/kg to €2.95/kg with price influenced strongly by quality.

Store cattle

Prices paid for store cattle have increased significantly in recent weeks.

Top-quality stores again topped €3/kg, with average prices for continental cattle settling around the €3/kg to €3.15/kg.

Angus- and Hereford-crosses ranged on average from €2.45/kg to €2.70/kg. Meanwhile, Friesian bullocks sold from €2/kg to €2.30/kg in the main.

Average prices paid for heifers mimicked bullocks closely. R and U grading continental-cross heifers weighing 500kg to 600kg sold from €2.80/kg to €3.15/kg.

Demand for Angus-cross and Hereford-cross heifers was brisk, with Angus-crosses averaging in the mid-€2.70/kg region.

In pictures

This Charolais-cross heifer weighing 520kg and born May 2020 sold for €1,440 (€2.77/kg).

This March 2020-born Simmental cross heifer weighing 525kg sold for €1,460 (€2.78/kg).

This aged Limousin-cross heifer weighing 615kg and born August 2019 sold for €1,880 (€ 3.06/kg).

This aged Charolais-cross heifer weighing 620kg and born June 2019 sold for €1,870 (€3.02/kg).

Weighing 440kg, this Aubrac-cross heifer born March 2021 sold for €1,190 (2.71/kg).

An Aberdeen Angus-cross heifer weighing 505kg and born March 2020 sold for €1,410 (€2.79/kg).

This good-quality 500kg Limousin-cross heifer born February 2021 sold for €1,480 (€2.96/kg).

This Limousin-cross heifer weighing 545kg and born September 2020 sold for €1,660 (€3.05/kg).

Four fleshed Aberdeen Angus-cross heifers averaging 488kg and born February and March 2020 sold for €1,330 (2.73/kg).

This batch of Friesian bullocks born April and May 2020 and averaging 431kg sold for €790 (€1.83/kg).

This April 2020-born Charolais cross bullock weighing 415kg sold for €1,250 (€3.01/kg).

This batch of five Friesian bullocks weighing 494kg and born September / October 2020 sold for €1,130 (€2.29/kg).

This 680kg Limousin-cross bullock born May 2020 sold for €2,200 (€3.24/kg).

This quality Limousin-cross bullock weighing 730kg and born June 2020 sold for €2,100 (2.88/kg).

This Limousin-cross heifer weighing 495kg and born April 2020 sold for €1,520 (€3.07/kg).