The story of Monday’s calf sale in Bandon Mart was the lift in prices paid for Angus and Hereford-cross calves compared with last week.
At the upper end of the market, there was a significant number of these. Both bulls and heifers sold from €280 to €350.
Age among calves at those prices varied from two to five weeks, but what they had in common was that they were solid, square calves and the feeding they received showed in the ring.
There was some very competitive bidding for these calves and it showed in the prices received.
The lighter Angus and Hereford remained a strong seller too, with €180 to €280 achieved by a good proportion, with even the top end of the those with Jersey-cross background coming into the lower end of that price range.
Continental calves held their 2021 form. They made up to €460.
There was little to no change in the prices for export-type calves, even if there might be some nervousness over sailings this week with poor weather forecast.
A trend in 2021 seems to be a bit of a rise in demand for British Friesian-type bull calves.
Similar to the traditional beef crosses, the squarer calf with extra feeding is featuring at the top end of the market.
This week saw a price range from €90 to €210 for these calves.
Lighter Friesians and Jersey crossbred bull calves sold for below this price range. There was a small offering of Friesian heifer calves suitable for breeding and these sold for up to €340.
Comparing with previous end-of-February sales, numbers are on par with the last two years with 1,200 on offer.
There appears to be little fluctuation on most calf prices and, on a positive note, there is a higher floor on prices, especially for Friesian bull calves this year.
There is a while to go yet, with peak numbers expected in marts over the next two to three weeks.
Farmers will be anxious for prices to hold firm and hope storms stay at bay this spring.