Calf trade: More calves hitting the market

As expected, this week numbers jumped once again, with large entries and “a good trade” reported in most cases, according to mart managers around the country.

Ennis Mart

Ennis mart reported a rise in calf numbers at its most recent sale on Tuesday, February 25.

Martin McNamara, the mart manager, said: “There was a big increase in calf numbers and about 75% of these were Friesian bull calves.”

Age and weight was reported to be varied when it came to Friesian bull calves on Tuesday, with the “lighter, poorer-quality calves” making €10-40/head.

However, the stronger of the Friesian bulls suited to the export market were said to be making up to €80/head. Farmers were in the market for Friesian bull calves on the day also, paying €80-140/head for their desired lot.

The other 25% of the calves which went under the hammer on Tuesday were said to be predominantly whiteheads and continentals; whiteheads made up to €280/head, while continentals made up to €340/head, Martin said.

Fermoy Mart

Seán Leahy, mart manger of Fermoy Mart, reported an increase in entry numbers again this week, with a total of 600 calves being presented for sale on Tuesday, February 25.

Seán highlighted that of these 600 calves, approximately 400 were Friesian bulls, with many of these said to be “strong calves”.

Lots containing Friesian bull calves suitable for export achieved prices from €10/head to €70/head on the day, while the stronger calves made up to €170/head.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus heifer calves were said to be in plentiful supply, while bulls of the same breed were also well represented at the sale. Bulls achieved prices of €120-310/head, with heifers making €90-240/head.

Continentals were said to be in the minority on Tuesday, although Seán does expect these numbers to increase in the coming weeks.

Continental bulls were reported to make €200-340/head, while heifer calves topped out at €300/head.

Seán concluded by saying: “Numbers should increase another bit next week, but I do expect there to be more Angus and Hereford calves appearing every week from now on.”

More weather woes for calf exports

Unfortunately, the calf export trade has been disrupted again this week, as poor weather conditions at sea continue.

Also Read: Calf exports: Adverse weather affects sailings once more

Sailings with calves to European destinations went ahead on Thursday last, but those which were due to take place this weekend have been cancelled.