While data comparison on last week is quite limited due to the small throughput, we can see that mart trade for 2021 is off to a very good start.
Factory prices continue to move upwards and with fit cattle light on the ground, it’s leading to a very high base price.
Perhaps the biggest increase in factory prices is well-conformed cows, with as high as €3.60/kg being paid.
This is reflective in mart trade, with some heavy continental cattle breaking the €2,000 mark.
Heifers have moved up to a factory base price of €3.80/kg, with factory agents very eager for fit and short-keep cattle
Overall, dry cow prices averaged at €1.67/kg, moving up to a €2.10/kg average for the top third of lots sold.
Some of the highlight prices include a five-year-old Blue cow weighing 770kg that sold for €2,370 (€3.08/kg).
Another Blue cow weighing a massive 935kg sold for €2,680 (€2.87/kg).
These incredible prices are helping to improve the bottom end of cows through the ring too, with the bottom third of cull cows averaging at €1.19/kg. This is up 23c/kg on the week.
Heifers have moved up to a factory base price of €3.80/kg, with factory agents very eager for fit and short-keep cattle.
Top price in this section was a March 2019-born Blue heifer weighing 775kg that sold for €2,940
While a number of marts had a good entry of heavy in-calf heifers which distorted the data slightly, in general, heifers are 20c/kg higher than their bullock comrades.
Overall, heifers in excess of 600kg sold for an impressive €2.43/kg, with the upper end of these selling for €2.82/kg. As mentioned, some top prices for heifers going for breeding added to these high averages.
Top price in this section was a March 2019-born Blue heifer weighing 775kg that sold for €2,940 (€3.79/kg).
Just behind this, a March 2018-born Limousin heifer weighing 745kg sold for €2,800 (€3.76/kg).
Short-keep heifers also saw a lively demand, averaging at €2.20/kg, with the top third of lots rising a further 23c/kg above this on average.
Leading the prices in this section was a March 2019-born Limousin heifer that weighed 555kg and sold for €2,000 (€3.60/kg). This heifer was sold suitable for breeding.
Heifers sub-500kg saw average up 12c/kg on the week to settle at €2.13/kg.
Fit steers rose by 5c/kg on the week to settle at €2.11/kg
Better-quality continental lots saw this average boost to €2.43/kg, led by a 400kg Limousin that sold for €3.73/kg (€1,490).
As mentioned, steers stand about 20c/kg back on heifer averages, once breeders are excluded.
Fit steers rose by 5c/kg on the week to settle at €2.11/kg. This average moved up to €2.27/kg as quality improved.
Short-keep steers needing four to eight weeks feeding struggled to reach the same heights, but the numbers of good-quality continental types remain light on the ground.
Overall, the top third of lots averaged just shy of €2.10/kg, back 9c on the week.
Those few that were of continental descent and a bit further on still achieved good prices.
One Blue bullock, born April 2019 and weighing 580kg, sold for €1,400 (€2.41/kg).
Weanling numbers across all sections remain very small, as can be expected for the month of January.
Those present of good quality in both bulls and heifers were making a healthy €2.60/kg, with some exceeding the €3/kg mark.
Small numbers of first-cross dairy calves are starting to appear at marts, but these are mostly autumn-born. These are selling well, with beef-sired calves starting at €200 rising to €490.