Farm Ireland

Friday 22 September 2017

Friesian bull calf returns fall €10-40/hd

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Prices for Friesian bull calves have fallen by €10-40/hd compared to last year, mart sources report.

An absence of calf exporters in the marts has been reflected in weaker prices for calves from the dairy herd.

Friesian bulls up to three weeks old sold for €110-140/hd, with older calves selling for up to €200-250/hd.

With farmers doing most of the buying, demand and prices for beef-type calves is said to be strong, albeit back a bit on 2012.

Prices of €270-350/hd have been paid for Hereford bulls and heifers, while Angus calves have sold for €220-300/hd.

The first of the Belgian Blue calves have sold for up to €450/hd and Charolais calves are also in demand at €450/hd.

Calf numbers are still low, with the real influx to the marts expected in the next fortnight.

Bandon Mart had 200 calves on offer this week, with prices of €110-140/hd paid for Friesian bulls of three weeks old and €140-200/hd paid for calves up to six weeks old. Older calves sold for €250-275/hd.

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Mart manager Tom McCarthy said the prospect of the live trade to Libya re-opening had boosted demand for beef calves, with €270-350/hd paid for three- to four-week-old Herefords.

In Castleisland Mart, farmers paid €170-230/hd for six-week-old Friesian bulls, and up to €460 for Charolais calves, with a trickle of Belgian Blue calves selling for up to €450/hd.

In Thurles, farmers paid €80/hd and upwards for calves of less than a week old from the dairy herd, with the lowest prices paid for Norwegian Red and Jersey crosses.

Six-week-old dairy calves made up to €200/hd, while Angus heifers sold for €220-230/hd and bulls made up to €300/hd.

Twenty Friesian bulls were sold at Dungarvan Mart at prices of €160-285/hd for calves born in December. Fermoy Mart sold Friesian bulls at €110-250/hd for calves from two weeks to a month old.

In Kilmallock, strong demand from western and midland farmers resulted in prices of €240-260/hd for Friesian calves around a month old. However, even a nine-day-old Friesian bull made €225/hd.

Prices for beef calves were higher at €350/hd for five-week-old Hereford heifers and up to €530/hd for a month-old Belgian Blue.

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