All live markets have witnessed huge increases in the value of both cows and bulls, but Aberdeen and Northern Marts' Thainstone Centre has seen more than most, achieving centre records on several occasions.

According to Tim McDonald, prime and cull cattle manager for Aberdeen and Northern Marts, average cow prices are £300 per head more than this time last year on the back of increased demand from the south and across the UK, as more processing meat from Britain heads into continental Europe.

Prime cattle numbers and prices are also soaring with buyers from south of the Border appearing at Thainstone as demand continues for heavier carcasses further south, said Mr McDonald.

Over the past month, Thainstone Centre saw in excess of 1600 prime cattle change hands, of which 1317 were cast cows and bulls over the four weekly sales. The third sale of the month boasted an entry of 539 head of cattle sold through the one ring – believed to be the highest number cashed since 1992.

The same day also saw a new centre record of £2580 paid on two occasions for cast cows – for a 1000kg Limousin cross from Tewel, Stonehaven, and a 928kg Limousin from Tocherford, Wartle.

Another centre record was smashed at Thainstone in May when an Aberdeen-Angus scaling 1158kg from Newhouse of Glamis, Forfar, realised £2490, followed closely behind at £2410 for a pure Charolais cow weighing 1006kg from South Mains of Tillymorgan, Insch.

Dairy cows have also been attracting big prices, selling to £1970 for a 944kg Fleckvieh from Flottertson House, Sandwick.

Record prices have been achieved amongst the bulls too, with the mid May sale seeing 25 head average £2053.30, with a high of £2880 paid for a 1380kg Charolais from Mains of Auchriachan, Tomintoul – equalling the previous week's centre record paid for a 1156kg Limousin from Mid Fleenas, Nairn.

Prime cattle have also been trading well, with 297 head sold throughout the month with many selling in excess of 260p per kg. At the last sale, trade peaked at 284p per kg for a Limousin cross heifer from Mains of Kindrought, Strichen.