The calf trade is ramping up in marts, as numbers increased by 32% over the last week with almost 9,500 calves traded according to data from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database.

After a few rough weeks, trade has stabilised for Friesian bull calves. Prices for those aged between 21 and 42 days rose by €2/head to €46/head, while prices for Friesian bulls under three weeks of age were unchanged at €37/head.

This marked the first week where Angus calves exceeded the number of Friesian bulls on offer. Angus accounted for 34% of the number of calves traded, while Friesian bulls made up 33% of what was on offer.

Herefords kept a firm grip on third spot, with an 18% share.

The increase in beef-cross calves has seen their prices dip further and this is more noticeable, as some mart managers are reporting lighter Angus-cross calves selling for the same money as shipping calves art

Angus-sired calves account for 52% of beef-sired calves on offer at the moment and average prices this week have eased by almost €11/head.

Under-three-week-old bulls experienced the biggest drop, back €18/head to €125/head while Angus heifers are €81/head, a fall of €6/head.

Those from three weeks to six weeks old are making €161/head and €101/head for bulls and heifers respectively.

Hereford-crosses make up 28% of all beef-sired calves and their lack of supply relative to Angus-crosses has seen prices remain ahead of their fellow traditional beef breed.

Although back €16/head across the ages and sexes on last week, at an average of €149/head prices for Hereford-cross calves are running €32/head above the price of Angus calves.

Of the continental breeds, Simmentals saw prices rise across the board. Although based on very small numbers, the biggest rise came for heifer calves under three weeks of age.

Selling for an average of €165/head, this represented a lift of €75/head. Bull calf prices rose by €20/head for older bull calves and €11/head for those between 10 and 20 days of age.