In recent sales over the past few days it has been noted by mart managers that the levels of Friesian-bred bull calves passing through mart rings are slightly back in comparison to previous weeks.
With the later calving females in some dairy herds calving down recently, it is resulting in more beef calves coming onto the scene.
In terms of prices, some managers were noting that the lighter type Hereford and Angus calves have received a slight setback in price. However, we still see strong prices being paid for stronger and quality calves with traditional breeding.
This week Agriland takes a look at recent calf sales held at Bandon, Ennis and Kilkenny Marts.
Overseeing his first sale as manager of Bandon Mart yesterday, Sean Dennehy reported that 1,350 calves were entered on Monday (March 29).
Sean stated that the sale was a bit slow to take off at the start but once the trade got going, calves were making good prices. Speaking to Agriland about the prices achieved, he said:
The light Friesian bull calf was selling from €40/head up to €80/head. The stronger Fresian bull calf was not as plentiful this week.
“The general prices paid for Angus and Hereford bulls was from €150/head up to €240/head. Heifers with the same breeding were sold at €150-200/head – with some outlying and higher prices paid.
“The continental bulls were a strong trade and sold from €330/head up to €430/head, while the heifers were generally selling at €250-280/head,” Sean concluded.
There were 260 calves on offer at Ennis Mart on Tuesday (March 30), with the manager, Martin McNamara, stating that the exporters were a bit stronger in their custom this week.
Speaking to Agriland after this week’s sale, he said: “The lighter Fresian bull calf was generally selling at €40-80/head, with the stronger Friesian bull being fit to make up to €160/head.
The continental bulls and heifers were topped at €465/head and sold back to €230/head.
“Angus heifer calves sold from €155/head up to €290/head. Angus bulls sold up to €275/head.
“Hereford bulls sold from €220/head up to €355/head. The heifers generally sold from €195/head up to €275/head. There was one Hereford heifer that sold for €395/head.
Kilkenny Mart auctioneer, George Candler reported that a 99% clearance was achieved from the 520 head of calves on offer on Tuesday (March 30).
In terms of prices this week, the second-rate (lighter) Fresian bull was selling at €20-60/head, while the first-rate Friesian bulls were selling at €70/head and prices reached up as far as €195/head.
Angus and Hereford bulls were peaked at €340/head and sold back to €100/head. Angus and Hereford heifers sold from €80/head up to €330/head.
Continental bulls were starting at prices of €180/head and peaked at €405/head. Heifers followed a similar pattern by topping at €400/head and easing back to €140/head.