Traditionally, calf numbers begin to tail off at the end of March, but have been holding this year.

Given sales were slow to get going, mart managers were predicting that the easing in numbers could be a bit later this year.

However, bad weather over the weekend may have played its part in reducing supply, with calf numbers back 11% at on the week, according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database.

Traditional beef breeds saw their market share increase yet again. Combined, they accounted for 71% of all calves traded over the past seven days.

They weathered storm Kathleen better than dairy-cross bull calves, with prices holding relatively steady.

Angus calves across ages and sexes sold for an average of €110/head this week, an increase of €3/head.

The average price for Herefords went down €3/head, selling for an average of €131/head this week. They are making €21/head more than their fellow traditional beef breeds, but when it comes to the numbers, there’s almost two Angus calves for every Hereford.

The number of Angus calves has risen steadily in marts over the last month and over the past seven days they accounted for 45% of all calves traded. Herefords are next in line with 26%.

Friesian bull calf supply at marts fell again, this time by 4% to 14%.

Storm Kathleen’s impact was felt late in the week, with ferry sailings cancelled and prices for lighter calves took a hit at marts across the country.

Friesian bull calves were affected most and prices for younger calves aged between 10 and 20 days took the bigger hit, falling by €14/head to €32.

There was a dip for older Friesian bull calves too but at a lesser level, dropping by €5/head to €47.

Over half the older Friesian bull calves had weight data available and they averaged 61kg. Farmer buyers have been active in marts for heavier Friesian bulls recently and this may have insulated them from the price drop.