The last 12 months will go down as a positive year for suckler to weanling producers, with weanling prices up across the board during the year.

A healthy live export trade for all types of quality of weanlings meant there was good competition around sales rings for weanlings.

Quality paid with a spread of almost €1/kg across most breeds when you compare the bottom third to the top third.

If we take the 300-400kg Charolais bull weanling, there was a difference of €312/head between the bottom third and the top third. With quality suckler-bred weanlings in shorter supply, this price gap looks set to grow in the future.

For this week’s analysis, we took the top third of prices from the MartBids database for the full 12 months of 2023. Starting with the 200kg to 300kg heifers, it was the Belgian Blue breed that topped the list with the top third of Belgian Blue weanling heifers in the 200kg to 300kg weight bracket coming in at €3.87/kg in 2023, a 41c/kg rise or a €102/head rise on the 2022 price.

Charolais weanlings took second place here at €3.53/kg, an increase of 31c/kg on the previous 12 months, while Limousin took the third spot at €3.46/kg, an increase of 20c/kg on the 2022 figure.

Moving on to the most popular weight category, the 300kg to 400kg weanling heifers, the Belgian Blue breed came out on top again knocking on the door of €4/kg at €3.97/kg, an increase of 48c/kg or €168/head on the 2022 figure.

Charolais took second place again in this weight category at €3.42/kg, while Limousins came in third with a price of €3.38/kg. Heavy weanling heifers in the 400kg to 450kg weight bracket saw some of the biggest price increases over the last 12 months.

Belgian Blue heifers in this weight bracket saw the biggest increase of all the categories coming in at 53c or €225/head higher than the 2022 sales data at a massive €4.05/kg.

The Limousin breed took the second spot at €3.46/kg, an increase of 43c/kg on the previous year, while Charolais took the third spot at €3.23/kg.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford weanlings also saw price increases on 2022 prices but came in at the bottom end of prices when it came to weanling sales.


It was a similar story in the weanling bull rings with the Belgian Blue breed dominating the top prices again. The only exception to this was the lighter 200kg to 300kg bull calf where the Charolais breed pipped the Belgian Blue breed to the post at €3.79/kg, an increase of 32c on the previous year. The Belgian Blues came in at €3.64/kg, an increase of 41c/kg.

Lighter Limousin bull weanlings saw one of the biggest increases across all categories coming in at €3.63/kg, an increase of 50c/kg or €125/head on the previous year.

The Belgian Blue breed was back in pole position when it came to 300kg to 400kg bull weanlings, with the top-end weanlings coming in at €3.76/kg, an increase of 34c/kg on 2022.

Charolais took the second spot at €3.66/kg, while the Limousins came in at €3.54/kg, up 51c or €178/head on the 2022 trade.

In the heavy bull weanling section, the Belgian Blues commanded the most money again at €3.69/kg.

Charolais took second place at €3.40, while following close behind were the Limousins at €3.38/kg. Interestingly, the Simmental breed saw the biggest price increase in this section at €3.05/kg, up 42c/kg on the 2022 trade.

The Aberdeen Angus and Hereford breeds came in at the bottom end when it came to weanling bull prices in 2023.

Breed share

Most breeds saw a steady 2023 when it came to market share of weanling sales. The Limousin breed saw the biggest reduction at just over one less weanling sales in 2023. This seemed to be at the expense of a growth in Aberdeen Angus weanling sales of just under 1%.

The Charolais breed held steady at 35%, while the Belgian Blues also held steady at 2.67%. The Hereford breed also held its share of the weanling market at 4.51%.

The Simmental breed had 3.07% of the weanling market in 2023.