This week's sale of 1,450 calves at Bandon Mart saw Angus, Friesian and Herefords make up over 95% of those on offer.
The second half of March is traditionally the time when numbers of Angus and Hereford calves tend to either match or surpass the number of Friesian bull calves for sale and this week’s sale in the west Cork venue was no different.
A combination of supply gradually contracting and calm sailing weather saw prices for export-type Friesian calves holding relatively firm and it even saw a small lift on last week, with €40 to €90 the going rate for those Friesian bull calves.
Farmer demand remains solid for the stronger Friesian bull calf, with €90 to €180 the going rate for them.
Jersey-cross bull calves and some of the lighter Friesians sold for under €35.
The reduction in numbers of Friesian bulls saw an increase in shipper activity for Angus calves.
That probably played a part in how prices for traditional beef breed-cross calves went.
It was the first week in a while where there was a good share of these calves selling from €150 to €230 and shippers were active for those.
If there was a scarcity in those calves, it was in that price division between top and bottom.
Beef-cross calves from €230 to €290 were thinner on the ground.
Despite the fact there was an increase in the number of traditional beef breed calves, the roaring trade for Angus and Hereford calves of both sexes continued, with €290 to €380 the going rate.
This applied to the top end of the sale and was especially true for those from four to six weeks of age, but there were a few younger calves that broke into this price bracket.
At the other end of the scale, traditional crosses from Jersey crossbred cows continued to get prices in a similar vein to British Friesian bull calves. Those mainly sold from €60 to €130.
Continental calves were as scarce as hens’ teeth, but, as always, they delivered when it came to prices, with a top of €520 paid for a Belgian Blue bull calf.
Most sold from €220 to €450 and, similar to all other calves, the type of cow herd they came from played a major role in determining the final price.