Balla marts Saturday cattle sale saw high numbers passing through the sales ring for the time of the year, with cattle prices holding firm in general. A total of 471 animals passed through the ring across 421 lots, with an overall clearance rate of 92%.

While prices were back on the week previous, cattle quality was more mixed in general, which pulled prices back slightly. However, quality cattle still remained heavily in demand with a mix of farmers, exporters and agents battling for lots.

Heavy finished or short keep store cattle were noted to be particularly in demand from northern buyers.

Heifers 350-400kg averaged €2.81/kg, with the top 1/3rd averaging €3.31/kg while the bottom 1/3rd were down as low as €2.36/kg, with some plainer dairy beef types included in this. Heifers in the 400-500kg bracket recorded the strongest average in the heifers at €3/kg, though this was still back 4c/kg on the week prior.

Forward and finished heifers in the 500-600kg bracket averaged €2.89kg, with the top and bottom 1/3rd of heifers averaging 30c/kg above and below this respectively.

Bullocks were on par with heifer prices in general, though lighter bullocks weighing 350-400kg were 11c/kg above that of the average heifer price (€2.92/kg). Despite the that northern buyers were there to prop up demand, bullocks weighing 400-500kg averaged €2.95/kg, while those weighing 500-600kg averaged €2.90/kg, 28c/kg and 18c/kg less than the week prior respectively. Heavy finished bullocks 600kg+ topped the trade at €2.96/kg of an average, with the top 1/3rd selling for €3.16/kg.

Weanling bulls

While numbers were relatively small at two pens of bulls, Balla followed a similar trend to many marts in recent weeks where autumn born weanlings have been met with phenomenal demand, despite it being earlier than normal for farmers to be selling these types. A showing of quality E-grade type bulls were on offer, with the majority of bull weanlings clocked in at between 300-400kg and sold to an average of €3.92/kg. Exporter buyers scooped up the majority of bulls with the quality on offer, with the top 1/3rd of bull calves selling for €4.54/kg on average.

This Limousin-cross bull born August 2023 and weighing 355kg sold for €1,480 (€4.17/kg).
This Belgian Blue-cross bull born September 2023 and weighing 410kg sold for €1,740 (€4.24/kg).
This Limousin-cross bullock born May 2022 and weighing 485kg sold for €1,560 (€3.22/kg).
This Charolais-cross bull born March 2022 and weighing 625kg sold for €1,700 (€2.72/kg).
This Charolais-cross bullock born April 2022 and weighing 715kg sold for €2,310 (€3.23/kg).
This Limousin-cross bullock born September 2022 and weighing 530kg sold for €1,500 (€2.83/kg).
This Charolais-cross heifer born October 2023 and weighing 410kg sold for €1,340 (€3.27/kg).
This Belgian Blue-cross bullock born May 2022 and weighing 600kg sold for €1,640 (€2.73/kg).
This Limousin-cross bull born October 2023 and weighing 310kg sold for €1,460 (€4.71/kg).
This Angus-cross heifer born January 2022 and weighing 680kg sold for €1,740 (€2.56/kg).