Although it’s late enough in the calf season, the unavailability of livestock-carrying ferries still managed to affect the trade this week in Bandon Mart.
After a lift in demand for Angus calves last week, they dropped in price.
Angus and Hereford dominated the numbers yet again and met with a solid demand. However, with more Angus calves being shipped at present and two ferries in for maintenance, it took the shine off prices this week.
There were in the region of 1,000 calves on offer for this bank holiday sale. Traditional beef breed calves, both bulls and heifers, over 75kg had the best chance of making close to or over €200. Those over 60kg generally made over €100 while those under 50kg were doing well to break €1/kg.
Continental calves were a shade better than traditional breeds but were scarce this week. Friesian bull calves were thin on the ground too. The going rate for most of those under six weeks of age was €30 to €70, with stronger calves exceeding this price bracket.
Mart manager Sean Dennehy said: “Friesian bull calves seemed to appear in a much shorter window this year and it’s probably down to more farmers trying out sexed semen for the first few weeks of breeding to try and get their heifers and then switching to AI or leaving a beef bull off with the cows.
“Judging by the bull sales lately, I think there could be more farmers take that approach to get their heifers and leave bulls off instead of using beef AI.
“There appears to be a good trade for breeding bulls this spring and I hope that continues as we have a big multi-breed bull sale this coming Thursday.”