Older calves made up the largest proportion of what was on offer in marts this week, as they accounted for just over nine out of every 10 calves traded.

According to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database, numbers fell back another 17% this week.

Fortunately for those selling, demand has remained extremely steady, resulting in marginal increases across the main breeds on offer.

Mart managers are reporting a strong appetite among buyers for calves, with shippers very active ringside as buyers in other EU countries remain anxious for Irish calves.

Angus- and Hereford-crosses saw relatively little change in terms of the numbers available over the last week.

Herefords remained at 28% in terms of the total number of calves traded. Angus-sired calves continued to make up over half of what was on offer, but were still back 1% in comparison with last week.

Most calves on offer are those aged between three and six weeks of age and prices for these all went up.

Prices for Angus-cross bull calves increased by €6/head for an average price of €181 compared with last week’s figures. There was a gain of €5/head for Angus heifers as they made €119 this week.

Hereford-cross bull calves were up €3/head in the week, selling at €192, while heifer calves from the same breed were up €7/head for an average price of €132.

Since their peak in March, the supply of Friesian bulls has remained steady at 6% over the last few weeks.

That fall-off in numbers saw their prices go up week on week until the past seven days, where they fell back, but only by €1/head. The average price for Friesian bull calves between 21 and 42 days was €86/head.

Limousin-cross calves continue to be the most numerous of the continental calves sold at marts over the last few weeks, as they had a similar number to Friesian bulls.

The average price for Limousin-cross bull calves was €228/head, down €8, while heifers were up €11/head to €183.