The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database has seen calf numbers come close to tripling at sales over the past seven days.

Some mart managers have described the trade for stronger, older beef-cross calves as exceptional, while the increased supply is having an impact on younger and lighter calves.

It comes as no surprise that the greatest jump in numbers was seen in both of the Friesian bull categories.

However, it is worth noting that when compared with the same week in 2023, Friesian numbers are back by 719 head.

The average price for younger Friesian bull calves between 10 days and 20 days was €50/head this week, a drop of €1.

There was weight data recorded for two thirds of these calves and it gave an average weight of 52kg/head.

For older Friesian bulls between 21 and 42 days, there was weight data available on 73% and they averaged 59kg/head. Prices for the latter dropped €7/head over the week to €65.

Angus calves remain ahead of the pack in terms of numbers. They too saw an increase in numbers and this larger supply saw their price drop across the ages and sexes.

Older bull calves between 21 and 42 days saw the biggest fall, with a drop of €45/head down to €201. Younger heifer calf prices fell by €30/head to €121/head and young bulls averaged €170, representing a drop of €12/head compared with last week.


Hereford calves also saw price drops across the categories as supply increased.

This was most pronounced for bull calves. Younger ones were back €58/head and older calves back €50/head on last weeks prices.

When it comes to continentals, numbers are low, but Belgian Blue and Simmental bulls are the most predominant with similar numbers on offer.

Those under three weeks old were back €60 and €59/head respectively compared with last week with an average €246/head paid for Belgian Blues, while Simmental bulls made €168/head.