The rapid rise in calf numbers has slowed somewhat, as peak trade is almost upon us.

Last week, numbers increased by almost 80%, while, over the past seven days, this increase was just 18% up on the previous week.

With big numbers going through the mart ring, it has had an effect on the prices being achieved, with almost all classes of calves easing over the past seven days.

Friesian bulls under three weeks are back by €6 to €48/head, while those over three weeks are back by €8 to €63/head.

Looking at the weight data, where available, these younger Friesian bull calves are averaging 52kg, while the older batch are averaging 57kg.

This converts to a price per kilo of 92c/kg and €1.11/kg respectively.

Export calves

The demand remains quite strong for export-type calves, although increased availability of these types has meant shippers can be a bit more selective and overall prices have eased in the last week.

Where €40/head to €90/head was the run of the mill price guide over the past few weeks, this has now moved to between €30/head and €80/head in recent days for these same animals.

Beef calves

Beef-sired calves were not immune to a price drop this week either and speaking to mart managers, this drop is simply due to higher supply, with decent demand being seen from farmer rearers again this year.

Angus bulls are back by €11 this week to an average price of €144/head for those under three weeks and €177 for calves aged three to six weeks.

Data suggest that the average weight of these categories of calves is 53kg and 59kg respectively.

Angus heifer prices are running €40/head to €45/head below bull calves.

Hereford bulls are back by €16/head, with those under three weeks old averaging €176/head, while older types are making 206/head.

Hereford heifers are averaging €50/head less than the bulls.