Firm trade for bull calves

The firm trade for bull calves seen during the first half of 2010 looks likely to continue, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

The average price for black and white bull calves up to three weeks-old in the first six months of this year was £47 per head – similar to a year earlier, but over a third higher than the same period in 2008, it said.

Continued tight supply of calves for breeding, particularly beef-bred calves, was said to have helped prices. The lower cost of cereals in the first half of 2010 for feeding also had an impact.

A spokesman for the AHDB said: “Encouragingly, there is an improving market for beef from dairy-bred bull calves. Some of the UK’s biggest multiple retailers have started to offer a number of schemes to producers guaranteeing a market for the product, which has led to renewed optimism about the ability to obtain a return on investment.”