The Friesian bull calf market has likely peaked, with numbers well back at marts this week compared to previous weeks.

This week’s calf price table sees a drop of almost 500 calves in the 10- to 20-day-old bracket, with a further drop of almost 400 calves in the older age bracket this week.

There was also a big drop-off in calf slaughtering last week, with over 1,000 fewer calves slaughtered last week when compared to the week before. There were 2,866 calves processed in beef factories last week.

The export trade was pretty steady this week, with little disruption in sailings meaning most export yards returned to normal after last week’s disruption. The younger Friesian bull calf eased a little in price this week, settling at €39/head. The older Friesian calves were also back a little this week to €53/head. Exporter activity is also very strong for coloured calves, with a number of big contracts secured to eastern Europe by Irish exporters in recent weeks.

Young Aberdeen Angus bull calves were down in numbers and in price this week, with the 10- to 20-day-old bull calves back €11/head to €127/head.

Older calf numbers increased, with the price staying at €164/head for 21- to 42-day-old Aberdeen Angus bull calves.

Older Hereford bull calves were up by 200 head on last week and also improved by €10/head to €196/head this week.

Farmer activity remains very strong for good continental calves, with Belgian Blue bull calves in the 10- to 20-day-old bracket selling at €207/head this week and Belgian Blue bull calves over three weeks coming in at €248/head, a €14/head increase on last week’s trading.

Charolais bull calves over three weeks of age hit €297/head this week.