The rise in beef calf numbers seems to be matching the demand for these calves judging by the prices seen in some marts.
Hereford and Angus calves are holding their own at marts, however some of the lighter Angus calves have reportedly struggled on occasions.
The strength in prices paid for young Friesian bull calves has also continued at marts this week as their reduced throughput is leaving a good floor under prices.
This week Agriland takes a look at recent sales held at Enniscorthy and Carnew Marts.
There was a strong trade for beef calves on Wednesday (April 22) as approximately 450 head of young stock passed through the calf ring.
Speaking with auctioneer Tommy Harrington after Wednesday’s sale, he stated that it was an excellent trade for Friesian bulls as the shipping calf was selling at prices of €90-130/head due to their scarcity.
Speaking about the sale of calves he said:
“The stronger Friesian bull calf that had a good frame to match, sold from €170-250/head.
“Hereford bull calf prices saw the better calves selling at €270-370/head, while the lighter type whitehead bull was selling at €180-230/head.
“The Hereford heifers sold at €130-180 for the weaker type of calves, while the heifers with a bit more quality and strength sold up to €300/head and back to €220/head.
“The Angus bull calves sold up to highs of €370-380/head and back to prices of €220/head – there was the lighter type of Angus bull calf that would be going for shipping that sold back to €130/head.
“The Angus heifer calves sold from €270/head back to €180/head for the stronger calves, while the weaker lots sold at €110-150/head.”
There were calf price records being broken at Enniscorthy Mart on Wednesday according to Tommy, as he sold a March 2021-born Belgian Blue heifer calf for a price of €670.
Speaking about this price, he said:
“In all of my 48 years of auctioneering in the mart, I don’t think I have ever seen a young calf selling for as strong a price.
“The continental heifer calves in general were selling from €150/head up to €300/head for the nice bit of heifer calf.
“Continental bull calves were selling up to €550/head, with the best calves selling at €400-500/head.
“The average type of calf was selling at €300-400/head, while the continental bull calf that was lacking a touch more quality, was selling at €150-230/head,” Tommy concluded.
At Carnew Mart last Saturday (April 17), calf prices seem to have held fairly firm in comparison to the previous week.
Young Friesian bulls sold from €30/head up to €85/head, while the strong Friesian bulls peaked at a price of €205/head and sold back to €90/head.
Hereford and Angus bulls were sold at €140-300/head, while the Herford and Angus heifer calves were fetching prices between €75-270/head.
Custom remained strong for the bull calves with continental breeding as these sold from €210-435/head. Continental heifers sold at prices of €170-365/head.