Enniscorthy Mart held its weekly calf sale on Wednesday, May 18, with over 400 lots and 500 calves on offer at the Co. Wexford-based mart.

The calf trade this year has very much been up and down, with export demand being one of the main factors underpinning the trade for calves.

Enniscorthy Mart

Speaking to Agriland after the sale, Enniscorthy Mart manager Kevin Murphy said the sales continue to be “very big for the time of the year”.

“The vast majority of this week’s sale was made up of coloured calves,” he said.

“The trade was stronger again this week due to the strong demand for calves from exporters.”

According to Kevin, the Angus-cross and Hereford-cross calves were in huge demand with exporters.

“The quality calves are being bought by local farmers and dealers and they are paying a premium for those squarer calves,” he said.

“Overall, the trade has been exceptional, with some calves up €100/head on three weeks ago.”

Calf trade

The export-type Friesians sold from €90 to €135, with stronger Friesians selling from €170 up to €200 – most of which were bought by farmers.

Some sample Friesian prices:

  • Eight-week-old Friesian bull sold for €305;
  • Four-week-old Friesian bull sold for €200.

The Angus and Hereford calves saw the biggest lift in price, according to Kevin.

They ranged from €140 for the lighter calves being exported, up to €375 for a good Hereford bull.

Some sample Hereford and Angus prices:

  • Four-week-old Hereford bull made €375;
  • Three-week-old Hereford heifer made €315;
  • Four four-week-old Angus bulls made €220 each.
calf trade

The continental calves saw a good lift in trade too according to Kevin, with soft bulls and heifers selling from €190 up to a top price of €450 for a Limousin-cross bull.

Some sample Continental prices:

  • Four-week-old Limousin bull sold for €450;
  • Four-week-old Limousin heifer sold for €400;
  • Three-week-old Charolais bull sold for €250;
  • Three-week-old Belgian Blue bull sold for €330;

Commenting further, Kevin said: “Overall, a big sale for the time of the year and an even better trade as a big export demand is propping up the sales.”