There were 415 calves on offer at the calf sale in Cahir Mart on Friday evening last.

In general, traditional beef breed crosses were making from €120 to €250 for younger calves.

Those closer to weaning or weaned calves were making up to €400, but were thin on the ground at last week’s sale.

Younger Friesian bull calves were scarce, but sold for between €60 and €120 with up to €250 available for reared calves.

Similar in numbers to Friesians, but on a different level when it came to prices, continental calves were thin on the ground but in good demand.

Up to €350 was paid for Charolais bulls and continental heifers made up to €300. For older continentals, up to €450 was paid for a pen of Belgian Blue-cross calves.

Demand was solid, with a 100% clearance rate.

Regular occurrence

Speaking after the sale, mart manager Jonathan O’Sullivan said that full clearances have been a regular occurrence over the last few weeks, as numbers fall back and demand remains firm.

If there was a blip in the trade at all, he felt it was for Angus- and Hereford-cross calves that were not suitable for export.

“Those calves with an N on the board for export, they were the ones that struggled a bit. There could be an extra €80 to €90 for them if they were eligible to go, but, if they weren’t, they were making around €120 to €130 instead.

“About 70% of the calves being sold at the moment are going for export. That would be the usual at this time of the year though.

“We’ve had a lot of farmer buyers out this year, but you would notice less of them around over last three weeks.

“I’d put that down to the fact that there were a lot more coloured calves out earlier in spring than other years and farmers who wanted beef calves bought them then.

“They were able to put their group of calves together earlier than they normally would so don’t need calves at the moment.”

Commenting on the 2024 calf trade, he said: “Trade was difficult at the start with issues with ferry capacity, but it worked out in the finish.

“The calves were slower coming out and some of that coincided with bad weather, but it hasn’t been a bad year overall.

“There were two or three weeks where it was hit and miss, but that was caused by weather, but there have been worse years.

“One thing you would notice is that calves were present in very good condition and buyers were willing to pay for that.

“We put an extra effort on ensuring that there were stronger calves on offer this year and in fairness farmers responded to it very well and were rewarded for it.”

In pictures

This one-month-old Friesian bull calf weighed 62kg and sold for €100.

This eight-week-old Hereford-cross heifer calf weighed 79kg and sold for €200.

This six-week-old Limousin-cross heifer calf weighed 80kg and sold for €270.

This five-week-old Belgian Blue-cross heifer calf weighed 68kg and sold for €220.

This three-week-old Charolais-cross heifer calfweighed 79kg and sold for €350.

This six-week-old Angus-cross bull calf weighed 72kg and sold for €210.

This five-week-old Hereford-cross bull calf weighed 73kg and sold for €280.