January calf prices are always strong, as supply and demand plays a big part in prices, but there seems to be that bit more reward for farmers selling their calves at the moment.
The lockdown restrictions may play a part too, with online sales only, and perhaps there are some buying earlier in the year than they usually would.
Whatever the reason, demand was exceptionally strong in Bandon Mart during its sale on Monday.
There was a good mix of calves on offer, with an even mix of Friesian, traditional beef breeds and continental calves present.
Friesian bulls sold from €65 to €225, with Friesian heifers making up to €290.
Demand for Angus and Hereford calves was very evident, with bull calves selling for between €220 and €440.
Heifer calf prices weren’t too far behind, ranging from €200 to €390.
As ever in January, calf sale demand was strongest for continental calves and they certainly didn’t disappoint from a seller's perspective, with bulls selling for up to €545 and heifers making up to €450.
Speaking after the sale, mart manager Tom McCarthy said: “Trade is good. The online selling is a little bit slower, but we’ll get used to it.
There’s good vibes coming from the beef side of things
"There’s stronger calves coming in and farmers love that. Dealers like it as well, because it opens up the market to a few more customers that mightn’t want to feed the younger calf.
"It’s got off to an exceptionally strong start this year. There’s good vibes coming from the beef side of things.
"Store cattle have got dear and people are turning their attention to calves to probably get numbers with the money they have. That’s driving on the calf thing.
"It’s worth highlighting that postal delays could have an effect on their ability to sell calves," Tom warned.
"If BVD samples are taking longer to get to the lab or the cards for calves are delayed, it could mess up selling plans. It’s something for farmers to watch.”