Factory prices around the country are continuing to edge upwards and with it cattle fit for slaughter are holding as strong as ever at marts.
The continued demand from Northern buyers and southern factory agents is helping to keep the average price for animals in excess of 600kg close to €2.30/kg.
Heifers of this weight saw a price rise of 5c/kg on the week to settle at €2.29/kg. This increase was also witnessed for better-quality lots, with the top third of prices in this weight division exceeding €2.50/kg.
While steers of heavy weights actually saw a decrease on the week by up to 4c/kg in some categories, prices are still incredibly high, with the top third of lots over 600kg selling for an average of €2.47/kg.
Both bullocks and heifers in the lower third of prices reported an average price of €2.07/kg.
Buyers are still very keen for cull cows with prices still good at factories
Better-quality lighter steers remained above their heifer comrades, with short-keep lots averaging €2.48/kg.
It was a similar story as the weights reduced, with better-quality steers under 500kg selling for around the €2.60/kg-plus mark.
This was about 5c/kg ahead of heifers of the same weight. That said, the heifer average price remained much higher, with the lower end of steers a good 20c/kg behind heifers.
Buyers are still very keen for cull cows with prices still good at factories.
This week, the average price rose by 3c/kg to settle at €1.74/kg liveweight.
Better-quality lots saw the average rise to €2.12/kg, with €2.20/kg and over achievable for U grading cows of younger age and sufficient cover.
Cows with calves at foot or near calving recorded an average price of €1,400, up €25 on the week
An 800kg cull cow coming into this grade would surpass €1,750 ringside, so it may be worth considering heading to the mart for those with cattle to sell.
This trade is following through to suckler cows too, with prices up again on the week.
Cows with calves at foot or near calving recorded an average price of €1,400, up €25 on the week. This passed the €1,750 mark when the top third of lots sold are looked at.
Seeing the biggest change this week was the weanling trade, with most sections recording a drop in prices.
Numbers of heavy weanlings were very light on the ground this week. Those present generally saw a price drop of around 8c/kg to settle at €2.21/kg. This price increased to €2.45/kg for better-quality lots.
Buyers seemed more keen for bull weanlings over the heifers when they surpassed the 300kg mark, with heifers generally seeing a drop.
Bulls of the same weight actually increased on the week, by up to 13c/kg for better-quality lots
One of the biggest drops was the better-quality weanling heifer between 400kg and 450kg that had an average price of €2.43/kg, back 22c on the week.
Bulls of the same weight actually increased on the week, by up to 13c/kg for better-quality lots. However, this was very much against the run.
The real fancy-type of weanling heifer under 300kg is in as high a demand as ever, with the average price resting at €3.05/kg.
Top price of the week was an August 2020-born Blonde D’Aquitaine heifer that weighed 285kg and sold for €1,190 or €4.18/kg.