Strong finish to year for cattle sales
THE year has ended on a strong note with cattle producers, with the last cattle sale of the year ending as the year started on a firm note.
A total of 891 head of cattle was yarded for the final sale of 2016 with the market remaining firm across every category.
Ray Donovan principal Ray Donovan said the cattle market has been strong for more than a year.
"People have been asking how the sales have been, and I don't think we've had a bad sale in 18 months," he said.
"It's been a good, strong 18 months, which has been good for producers and everyone involved."
Mr Donovan said before the market started rising, few in the industry would have predicted the heights it would reach.
"When bullocks $2 we were happy, when it got over we were excited and wondering what was going to happen and when it got to $3 was unbelievable," he said.
"Things have come off the boil in the last three months, it's levelled off a little bit now but all things being equal, it's still good with a shortage of cattle and strong export prices meaning there's good demand for beef."
Farrell McCrohon stock agent David Farrell said he was quite happy with the result of the final sale of the year.
"All buyers were in operation so it was a good hoorah for the end of the year," he said.
"This year, cattle prices nation wide have been good in comparison to other years.
"Hopefully the market will maintain the same. The market did soften in the second half of the year, and we expected that. It's hard to tell what will happen next year, but it's all supply and demand and I can't see supply increasing too much."
Mr Farrell said the strong year of cattle sales has been a good sign for the future of the Grafton Saleyard.
"Numbers are good through the yards through Grafton, and I know there's been some conjecture in the past over the viability of the sale yard but it's well supported by the buying fraternity as well as the vendors," he said.
"We've been yarding good quality cattle from other areas due to the good prices we've been getting in Grafton, so I think that's a sign it's going well."