As expected, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database has seen a rise in numbers at sales this week.

While there was a dip in demand for Friesian bull calves due to cancelled sailings, demand for quality calves remains firm, but the prices across all breeds and ages eased slightly over the week.

Perhaps it confirms delays in registering calves, but the number of Friesian bull calves between 21 and 42 days old available at marts surpassed the number of younger Friesian bull calves.

They averaged €54/head this week, a fall of €11/head. Weight data was recorded for 62% of those Friesian bull calves and the average weight was 58kg.

Angus stock

Angus calves continue to have a firm grip on second place when it comes to the numbers traded through marts.

For younger stock aged 10 days to three weeks, the average price for bulls was €151, while heifers were €92/head for the past seven days, easing by €19/head and €29/head respectively on last week.

Older Angus calves were back by €28/head to €173 compared with last week, while one of the biggest slips in calf prices occurred for older Angus heifer calves.

They dropped by €84/head to €117/head. Last week, they were trading at an average price of €201/head.

Hereford calves, with fewer numbers available than Angus, are back an average of €41/head across the four classes that the ICBF data table provides, but they are running €18/head ahead of the Angus price.

Older Hereford bulls aged 21 to 42 days are selling for an average of €53/head over the same aged Angus bull.

The average price for younger Friesian bulls between 10 and 21 days old was €43/head, a reduction of €7/head compared with last week.

Half of those young Friesian bulls were weighed at sale and had an average of 43kg. Across bought categories of Friesian bulls, there has been wide variation reported by mart managers. In Bandon Mart on Monday, Friesian bulls sold from €5/head up to €170/head.