Traditional beef breed calves are close to making up 70% of all calves traded in marts last week. Angus calf numbers increased by 5% to 42% of all calves traded, while Herefords accounted for 25%, a lift of 2%.

Despite the rise in supply, demand seems to be holding firm, as prices appeared relatively stable for Angus and Hereford calves.

Prices for Angus calves dropped by €1/head on average on the week, while Hereford calves went up by €3/head in the same time frame.

It means under-three-week-old Angus and Hereford bulls are averaging €116/head and €146/head respectively, while those over three weeks old are making €146/head and €179/head respectively.

Looking at heifers of the same breeds, young Angus heifers are averaging €66/head, a drop of €6/head, while Herefords are up €1/head to €90/head.

Mart managers have reported a slightly tougher trade for lighter Angus calves this spring.

Older heifers are running around €30/head dearer at an average price of €98/head for Angus and €120/head for Herefords. Those heifer prices are similar to this time last year.

Stronger calves of both breeds that are over 75kg have been consistently selling well above the average price.

Friesian bulls comprised 18% of the total number of calves traded, a drop of 7% over the last seven days. This reduction in supply, combined with continued demand from the Dutch market, played out when it came to prices.

The average price for younger Friesian bulls was actually up €3/head from last week to €46, while older calves remained the same as last week at €52.

Belgian Blues continue to be the most popular of the continental breeds when it comes to mart sales. They accounted for about half of the continental-cross calves last week.

There’s a higher supply of calves over three weeks of age, but only a marginal difference in price. Belgian Blue bull calves sold for an average of €230/head, while heifer calves averaged €185/head.