Talk of numbers being back in the marts over the last few weeks due to the weather – and the absence of grass buyers – reminded The Dealer of a recent report on the giant Mercado Agroganadero mart in Argentina.

The ultra-modern facility at Canuelas, 60km outside the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, replaced the world-famous Liniers Market in 2022.

Liniers was the massive Buenos Aires-based livestock market which set the tone and price levels for the Argentine cattle and sheep trade for more than 120 years. The Canuelas facility is equally impressive. It runs 20,000 head through its rings on a busy sale, around 14,000 on a normal day, and 10,000 head on a quiet day.

Close to 50 auction houses operate through the market, with 250 gauchos on horseback keeping the cattle moving through the facility. Ireland may be an important player in terms of European beef production, but the real powerhouses are clearly further afield.