After a tough month of February weather-wise, a dry few days and a kinder weather forecast means it’s all forgotten.

The first of the grass buyers have started to move out this week, targeting a few weanling sales in the west for grazing cattle.

Grazing customers won’t be able to compete with feedlots and farmer finishers for heavy cattle.

With high fertiliser prices, high meal prices and high store prices, you would need to be very brave at the moment to buy a load of 500kg stores for finishing at the back end of the year.

Instead some of these traditional heavy store operators are taking it down a notch and moving into the later-spring-born store around the 400kg mark.

These cattle are already a real solid trade and one wonders how much more the grazing clients will drive on the price.

Every other year, prices peak in April as grazing customers all come out to stock up, but it’s hard to see the trade getting any better than it currently stands.

If it does, it’s going to be very hard for some of these cattle to make a turn.

When these cattle come back to the ring in October, increased numbers of finished cattle could mean we are operating in a different environment and buyers should factor this into budgets when purchasing their 2022 store compliment.


The top end of bullocks continue to move from €2.80/kg to €2.90/kg.

Trade might have been a little back in the last week.

A number of special show and sales over the last few weeks has likely brought out the best customers and this has likely affected price a little.

Ironically, the bottom end of all categories of bullocks are up this week.

This category generally contains Friesian bullocks and traditional Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle from the dairy herd. Factory agents have been very active for this type of stock over the last week, filling up feedlots for an April or May finish. This increased demand has pushed up the price a little in the last week.


Heifers continue to be a very solid trade, with heavy slaughter-fit heifers an exceptional trade over the last week.

Heifers weighing 600kg-plus hit €2.97/kg last week in marts or €1,782/head. A 600kg heifer killing out at 56% weighs 336kg. If she grades an R=3+, she comes into €1,612 before stoppages. That heifer bought in the mart needs a beef price somewhere north of €5.30/kg to get out. Agents are working off orders from factories to buy cattle at any cost.


It’s a mixed story on the weanling trade. Bulls are up and heifers have come back a little.

On the bull side, I understand that a number of large southern-based feeders have been given the nod for bulls up to June and this has lifted the demand for bull weanlings, especially those weighing over 400kg.

The top end of bull weanlings in the 400kg to 450kg category hit €3.10/kg last week.

The dry cow trade continues to be exceptionally positive with as high as €2.60/kg being paid for top-quality dry cows this week.