Rathfriland Mart held its weekly cattle sale last Friday, with 110 drop calves and runners, 100 weanlings, 20 heifers and 60 bullocks through the ring.
The sale was conducted through the Irish Farmers Journal online bidding platform MartBids.ie.
There was also limited ringside bidding in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Calves and runners
Calves have been in great demand all spring, according to mart manager Jim McCrum.
“Last week’s trade was slightly back on the previous week, but there was still a great demand for calves,” he said.
Aberdeen Angus-cross heifer calves averaged £183/head (€212/head), with Hereford-bred calves averaging £213/head (€247/head). Crossbred Friesian bull calves averaged £108/head (€125/head).
Bull calves bred by continental beef sires were the best trade of all the calves, averaging £262/head (€304/head).
Runners saw a brisk trade also. Where the continental-bred bulls were ahead of the rest, these bulls averaged £490/head (€569/head).
Beef-bred heifers were also a good trade, with heifers averaging £400/head (€465/head).
Slightly back on the previous week, the dairy-bred runners sold for an average of £243/head (€282/head).
Weanlings saw a super trade for anything continental-bred, with a clear difference between the price of quality cattle and poorer-quality lots.
Weanling heifers saw the trade slightly back on previous weeks in Rathfriland, with heifers weighing 300kg-plus averaging £716 (€832). Lighter heifers under 250kg averaged £498 (€579).
As for weanling bulls, these saw a similar trade to the week previous, with bulls over 300kg averaging £743 (€863/head).
Heavier bulls were in demand, as there were few on offer on the day, with bulls weighing 400kg-plus averaging £944/head (€1,097/head).
Heifers and bullocks
With a small show of heifers, these cattle were in high demand, with finisher buyers driving the price of heifers.
Heifers weighing 500kg-plus averaged £1,010 (€1,174/head). Heifers under 500kg averaged £910 (€1,058/head). These heifers saw a similar trade to last week
Bullocks were also a good trade, up on the previous week’s sale. Factory-fit bullocks were in demand.
Bullocks over 600kg averaged £1.93/kg (€2.24/kg). Bullocks weighing 500kg-plus were sold at an average of £1.97/kg (€2.29/kg).