Most years, the January calf trade is driven by the basic economic principals of supply and demand and it looks like 2023 will follow that trend.
There were 276 calves on offer in Bandon Mart this week, almost double what was on offer last week and 50 head more than the corresponding sale in 2022.
Mart manager Sean Dennehy told the Irish Farmers Journal that he expects numbers to increase in a similar pattern over the next two to three weeks.
Heavier calves - those at 80kg and over - did best on the day across the categories, with continentals leading the way, but some select Angus bull calves weren’t far behind them.
Continentals were making from €250 and up, with the best of the bulls selling for up to €525 and heifers making up to €440.
The top price paid for an Angus was €410 and a share of strong bull calves made over €350.
Farmer demand for the heavier calves and their scarcity drove this appetite for calves over 80kg.
Lighter Angus and Hereford calves were generally making between €200 and €280 and a small number sold for below this price bracket.
Friesian bull calves
There appeared to be an even split in terms of numbers between beef-cross calves and Frieisians, as most Friesian bull calves sold for between €40 and €170 for calves under 100kg.
Lighter calves between 45kg and 55kg were selling for between €40 and €60, while those over those weights were able to get a bit more, with €105 to €135 buying most of the heavier Frieisan bulls.
A selection of stronger Friesian runners made up to €260.