The number of calves traded this week was only up 5% on the previous seven days, which could be a sign that calf numbers are peaking.

More likely, it was a sign of the weather conditions this week, with some farmers opting not to send export-type calves to sale due to poorer market returns seen late last week and into this week.

Calf exports had been running like clockwork up until last weekend, when high winds disrupted livestock-carrying cargo.

The impact of this was felt quite quickly ringside, with export types easing significantly in recent days.

In the overall price averages, it sees a reduction of €4/head for younger Friesian bulls, while those over three weeks are down €8/head on the week to €55/head.

Reports from sales suggest that stronger 60kg-plus farmer-type Friesian bull calves were still in high demand and were making €100/head to €120/head and more in cases. Over 70% of Friesian calves traded this week were over three weeks old, compared with just 47% a fortnight ago.

Beef calves

Angus-sired calves account for 51% of beef-sired calves on offer at the moment and average prices this week have eased by almost €10/head.

Under-three-week-old bulls and heifers are averaging €138/head and €91/head respectively, while those from three weeks to six weeks old are making €164/head and €124/head for bulls and heifers respectively.

Hereford make up 31% of all beef-sired calves, but having been running €35/head to €40/head above Angus price in recent weeks, they have seen a price correction over the last seven days, down €20/head on last week and are now €15/head to €20/head above Angus prices.

Limousin calves saw the biggest price increase on the week, although based on very small numbers.

Bulls up to three weeks old averaged €199/head, up €43/head on the previous seven days, while heifers of the same age were up by €19/head to €121/head.