The impact of breed on bull calf prices

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

By Kat Jack

When it comes to selling bull calves for rearing at auction, the breed of the calf has a big impact on price. The three main breed types reported are Friesian/Holstein X, Hereford X, and Continental X. Of these three types, the two beef breeds fetch significantly higher prices than the Friesian/Holstein.

Over the last 5 years (July 2015-June 2020), the average price fetched for a Friesian/Holstein was just £40/head. For Hereford the average is £157/head, and £217/head for Continental – or £117 and £177 more than the Friesian/Holstein respectively.

There has also been a large variation in prices over the last decade, with a £160-£170/head gap between the highest and lowest monthly prices for the two beef categories. Although this puts a fair amount of overlap in the price ranges for these two types, markets tend to move in line with each other, so that the Continental price has stayed consistently above the Hereford price. Friesian/Holstein prices have been more stable in that their range is smaller, but they have also stayed consistently below the beef breeds in terms of pricing.

See the latest prices here

Katherine Jack

Analyst - Dairy

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