Thursday last saw Clones Livestock Mart in Co Monaghan host its weekly cattle sale, which saw up on 60 cattle go through the ring.
The sale was host to bullocks, cows and calves, with no heifers or weanlings forward for sale on the day.
There was a continued strong trade for bullocks this week, mainly driven by the confidence in the beef market at present.
However, this sale saw very few factory-fit bullocks going through the ring.
Bullocks for feeding or for grass were met with a super trade, with very few selling for less than €2.20/kg.
Bullocks weighing 450kg to 500kg sold for an average of €2.30/kg, while the top bullock in this weight bracket sold for close to €2.55/kg, with lesser dairy bullocks in the same weight bracket averaging from €1.90/kg to €2.10/kg depending on quality.
Heavier bullocks over 500kg were met with a similar trade.
With few of these on offer in the sale, they saw an average price of €2.30/kg, with some dairy-bred bullocks in this weight coming in just slightly less at an average of €2.25/kg.
Calves were also met with a super trade for the most part. With a top price of €400 for an Aberdeen Angus calf, it was clear to see that quality calves are always in demand.
There was a large variation in calf price, which reflected the quality on show. Poorly conformed dairy-bred calves were at the bottom end of the trade, with some of these moving for around the €70 mark.
Cows have hit a slight standstill in recent weeks, with no major change in prices being paid.
However, buyers still seem confident that a strong beef price will remain in the coming months, with cows for feeding leading the way in Clones.
Some cows weighing 600kg-plus for feeding saw a brisk trade, averaging around the €2/kg mark.
Lighter cows weighing from 500kg to 500kg saw a strong trade also, with poorer-fleshed and older-type cows trading around the €1.60/kg mark, while those carrying a bit of flesh or better-conformed cows were making as much as €2.15/kg for some top continental-bred cows.
Speaking to some of the buyers on the day, they told the Irish Farmers Journal that, as expected at this time of the year, numbers were well back and, as a result, the quality on show was a lot more variable.