While cattle numbers were back at the weekly cattle sale in Kilcullen Mart on Wednesday, December 8, as a result of a weather warning, Storm Barra had no impact on cooling the lively trade for all lots of cattle at the Kildare-based mart.

Speaking to Agriland following the sale, auctioneer John Osborne said the trade for all sorts of cattle “is on fire” at the moment.

He noted one 645kg continental bullock in the sale which made €1,690 or €2.62/kg and said: “The beef is on a bit of a strengthener still with rising prices and that has kept the bottom in the store trade right up until now.”

Commenting on the demand for store-type cattle, Osborne said: “Coming to the end of the financial year, farmers are out buying cattle before the end of December.”

He noted that farmers who are selling forward cattle “are getting €150/head or more than they got last year”.

“They want to replace these cattle and the weanlings have gone from the system so farmers have turned their hand now to buying that 360-440kg bullock which seems like a better proposition to many buyers now all of a sudden,” Osborne noted.

There was a small showing of heifers at Kilcullen Mart last week and the sale was composed primarily of bullocks; however, Osborne noted 500kg heifers making from €1,200 onwards and the 600kg ones into €1,400 and above “for the good beef-type one,” he explained.

“400kg heifers are making in the region of €2.30-2.50/kg depending on quality and good sharp Charolais heifers are clicking the €1,000 in that category,” he outlined.

“There’s a great trade for the proper Angus O+ or R-grade heifer,” he noted.

The Kilcullen Mart auctioneer added that the mart will host a clearance sale of 15 suckler cows next week.

He explained: “It’s typical of the whole year where we’ve had quite a few of them sales where farmers have got out of the sucklers and are switching over to dairy or letting their land.”

“I’d say there’s a lot of changes ahead over the next 12 months with increased costs and any profits got over the past 12 months is going to be absorbed by next summer with the cost of everything,” Osborne concluded.