Cork Marts' calf export assembly has got off to a good start, with almost 1,000 calves handled through the service so far.

It has played a part in maintaining a solid price for the shipping calf price in its six sale centres and has been flexible enough to deal with sailing cancellations when they have arose.

The past week saw the cancellation of both export days, but service is to resume for next week.

It now appears that improved weather will see sailings take place this weekend, despite being cancelled earlier in the week.

The price grid is working very well, both sellers and buyers are happy with it

Cork Marts CEO Sean O’Sullivan was happy with the progress to date.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, he said: “We’re very happy with how it’s going. We’re not flooded with calves for it, which is good because it’s new for all parties involved and it takes getting used to. It certainly has potential.

Export calf assembly, Corrin Mart, Co Cork. / Donal O' Leary

"The price grid is working very well, both sellers and buyers are happy with it and in our business that’s very important.”


Calves are entered for the export assembly using the Stock €xpress option on the ICBF app.

Andrew Cromie from the ICBF was content with how the new venture is progressing.

“From our perspective, the most pleasing aspect is that objective genetic data is being used for the benefit of both the birth and the destination herd.

“It’s proving invaluable, in that we’re screening out the calves with lower genetic merit for beef traits.”


The process at the export assembly centre sees calves weighed and graded as they enter.

The grade is based on breed, age and via a combination of the ICBF dairy-beef index and visual assessment.

Prices are based on a number of criteria including weight, dairy beef index and the sale price of similar-type calves in the ring. / Donal O' Leary

Once this is complete, a price is set, based on what similar calves have made on the open market in mart sales over previous days.

The service is expected to continue until the end of April.