The number of calves traded at marts fell by 26% compared with last week according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price database.

With the overall number of calves back by over a quarter, the mechanics of supply and demand are very evident, as prices across the main breeds on offer mainly moved upward.

The average price for Hereford-cross calves went up by €16/head to €142, while Angus-cross calves lifted by €9/head to an average of €120.

There’s no change when it comes to the main breeds on offer, as 81% of the market consists of calves sired by traditional beef breed bulls for the second week running.

Half of all calves were Angus, while Herefords made up 31% of those sold. Calves aged between three weeks and six weeks of age continue to be the most available and trade got a nice bounce as demand held and supply dipped.

Hereford-cross heifer calves were up €18/head for an average price of €127. Hereford-cross bull calves were up €5/head in the week, selling at €183/head.

Prices for Angus-cross bull calves went up another notch this week to €165/head, an increase of €7.

Angus heifers made €108/head this week, a lift of €12 compared with last week’s figures.

The number of Friesian bull calves presented at marts for sale was marginally back over the last seven days.

However, they have held their own percentage-wise, as they accounted for 7% of calves this week.

Demand remains firm for them, especially from continental markets and those aged between 21 and 42 days old were up €5/head for an average price of €77 this week.

One in 10 calves were sired by a continental breed bull, with Limousin-cross calves edging out Belgian Blues and Simmentals for top spot among those breeds this week.

For those aged between three and six weeks of age, Limousin-cross bulls averaged €199/head, while heifers of the same breed sold for an average price of €176/head.