Traditional beef breed calves accounted for almost 70% of all calves traded in marts last week.

According to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database, Angus calf numbers accounted for 42% of all calves traded over the last week, a lift of 5%.

Meanwhile, Hereford numbers made up a quarter of all calves sold, increasing 2% week-on-week.

Even though supply has increased, demand for calves of both breeds appears to be holding firm as prices for them were similar to last week.

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

Angus and Hereford bulls under three weeks of age are averaging €116/head and €146/head, respectively, while those over three weeks old are making €146/head and €179/head, respectively.

Mart managers have reported prices well in excess of these averages being paid for stronger calves with farmer buyers, in particular, anxious for calves closer to weaning.

At the other end of trade, managers are reporting poor demand for calves with Jersey genetics.

The number of Friesian bull calves at marts fell to 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 in the prices.

Younger Friesian bulls were up €3/head from last week to €46/head, while the price for older calves was unchanged at €52/head.