Mart managers around the country are reporting lower export calf buyer activity this week due to a backlog of calves in the system with a number of sailings cancelled over the last two weeks due to adverse weather conditions.

Despite this, calf sale data from the ICBF for the past seven days shows Friesian bull calf prices slipping just €5/head to €57.

Decent farmer demand for better-quality calves is helping to stem the price fall.

Early-maturing beef types continue to build in numbers, with average prices continuing to head in the opposite direction.

Angus calves are back €26 and €13 on the week, while Herefords are down €20 and €4 for bulls and heifers respectively.

Three-week-old Angus heifers sold for an average price of €190, back from €212 last week.

Continental calf numbers remain small, with Limousin and Belgian Blue bulls averaging €266 and €313 this week respectively.

Across the beef breeds, there seems to be more bite to the heifer calf trade compared with bull calves, evident with heifer prices slower to fall in recent weeks.