The prices for quality animals are still holding firm, with the sought after Angus and Hereford calf still proving to be difficult to buy for farmers. Prices higher than €290/head are still being reported, which is well above budgeted prices for some calf-to-beef farmers.

In the shipping trade, some managers have said that the shipping customers this week are snapping up some of the stronger Friesian bulls at recent sales – while also keeping a good floor under the sale prices of the lighter Friesian bulls.

This week AgriLand takes a look at recent calf sales held at Waterford-Ross, Carnew and Carrigallen Marts.

Waterford-Ross Mart

The trade for calves was holding firm for the 1,031 calves at Waterford-Ross Mart this week according to the mart’s manager, Richard Kirwan.

Speaking to AgriLand about the sale this year, Richard said he felt the quality of calves coming to marts seems to be improving compared to other years – with higher numbers of beef calves hitting the ring.

In terms of prices this week, Richard said: “The lighter Friesian bull calves were selling at €30-80/head. Stronger Friesian bulls were selling from €80/head up to €190/head and we saw more exporter interest in buying these stronger calves.

Hereford and Angus bulls sold from €370/head back to €110/head, with the heifers selling from €100/head up to €330/head.

“Continental bull calves were sold from €190/head up to €580/head. Continental heifers made from €380/head back to €120/head,” Richard concluded.

Carnew Mart

Speaking to AgriLand about Saturday’s (March 20) sale of 550 calves at Carnew Mart, manager David Quinn stated:

“The Friesian bull calf that was making €5-10/head was a bit strong this week and selling between €15-30/head.

Meanwhile, the better-type and young Friesian bull calf that was selling at €50-60/head last week was selling at €60-70/head on Saturday.

Looking at the prices, light Friesian bulls sold at €30-70/head, while stronger Friesian bulls sold from €80/head up to €150/head

The continental bulls were selling at €170 rising up to a top price of €430/head. The heifers achieved €140-380/head.

Moving onto the Hereford and Angus calves, the bulls sold from €160/head up to €390/head. David stated that the younger bulls were selling at €150-200/head, with the better type of calf making €250-300/head.

Heifers with the same breeding were selling from €110/head up to €330/head last Saturday.

Image taken prior to Covid-19 restrictions

Carrigallan Mart

There was an entry of over 380 calves at Carrigallan Mart on Saturday (March 20), with a strong exporter presence among the customers last week.

Speaking about the trade this week, manager Helen Kells stated that the lighter Friesian bulls suitable for shipping were generally selling from €35/head up to €70/head – with stronger Friesian bulls making up to €130/head.

She added: “Depending on quality, Angus calves made from €160/head up to €310/head, while Hereford calves made from €290/head back to €140/head.

“Belgian Blue calves sold from €310/head up to €470/head. We had a selection of nice suckler bred Charolais calves around one-month-old which made from €535/head up to €610/head.”

The numbers entered for next week’s sale are already around the 400 calves mark booked for Saturday’s sale.