Prices for calves with a bit of age remains strong. However, two-week-old or April-born calves are back by €15/head to €20/head this week.

These later-born calves will struggle to be finished prior to a second winter period and so farmers are reluctant to pay too much for them.

Early-maturing breeds made up three-quarters of all calves traded this week, according to the ICBF calf price database.

As a result, the average price paid for Angus calves was back a further €10/head.

The greatest price reduction was seen for younger calves, with those two and three weeks old back €12/head on average. This brings the average Angus heifer price to €162, while bulls settled at €192.

Hereford calves are similar to last week at an average price of €182 and €213 for heifers and bulls respectively. However, two-week-old calves were back €15/head, as farmers prefer that older-type calf.

Friesian bull calf numbers are back by one third on the previous week. While prices for better-quality and older calves remain strong, the average price slipped by €5/head this week to an average of €79.