Calf numbers dipped by over one third compared with last week and there’s been little change in breed composition, according to the ICBF calf price database.

Angus- and Hereford-crosses made up 78% of those of offer and solid demand ensured prices continued to edge upwards.

Looking at prices for calves aged between three and six weeks of age, Angus-sired bull calves sold for an average of €195/head, up €14/head on last week.

Smaller supply and demand holding resulted in prices for Angus-cross heifer calves of the same age increasing by €24/head to €150/head.

Hereford-cross bull calves experienced a similar lift of €24/head as they sold for €218/head. Of the main calf breeds on offer, Hereford-cross heifers saw the biggest weekly increase as they went up €30/head.

After slipping €7/head last week, Friesian bull calves were up the same amount to €87/head. Hitting that price twice in the last three weeks, it is the highest price they got all spring.

From sales in early February to the end of May, Friesian bull calves sold for an average of €67/head. Subject to subtle changes, in general there was a swing of €20 between the lowest and highest prices paid for them.

The lowest average weekly price fell to €47/head and that was in the aftermath of storm Kathleen when supply peaked.

Prices for beef-cross calves got off to a flying start when numbers were tight early on and have been increasing steadily since they hit their lowest price in late March.

Angus-cross bull calves averaged €175/head this year, with a peak of €261/head in early February and dipping to €132/head in late March. Angus-sired heifer calves didn’t fare as well as the same breed bull calves, averaging €125/head.

Hereford-cross bull calves were the best sellers when it came to traditional beef breed calves, with an average of €197/head. Starting off on a high with €296, their lowest point came in late March when they made €159/head.

Hereford-sired heifer calves averaged €139/head.