‘Factory-finished lambs saw a big lift of €5/head on last week’ – Kevin Murphy

Enniscorthy Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Wednesday last (August 19), which saw a large entry of sheep “once again”.

The trade for finished lambs seems to be on the rise again and that was the case down at the Wexford-based mart on Wednesday, where prices for heavy lambs were up by €4-5/head.

A large proportion of the sale was made up of store lambs, which has been the case for the last number of weeks.

There were also a strong entry of breeding ewe hoggets and ewe lambs as well.

To find out more about the trade on the day, AgriLand caught up with the assistant mart manager, Kevin Murphy.

He said: “We had another very big sale this week. Finished lambs got a lift of €4-5/head, as the demand for suitable lambs has overcome the supply.

“There was a large entry of stores on offer, which continue to sell extremely well, with many potential buyers failing to secure the required quantities, as they refuse to give such strong prices.

Heavy lamb [butcher-types] supplies have been scarce for the last number of weeks and are selling well. There is also a strong online demand for these types.

“For the few that were on offer prices ranged from €110/head for 22 lambs weighing 46kg up to €118 for six lambs weighing 49kg.

“Factory-finished lambs saw a big lift of €5/head on last week, which was due to increased competition from factory agents ringside.”

Lambs penned at Enniscorthy Mart

He added: “Factory lamb prices ranged anywhere from €99/head for nine lambs weighing 43kg up to a tops of €110/head for 12 lambs weighing 45kg.

“Again, a large proportion of the sale was made up of store lambs, which continue to sell extremely well.

Even though there are a large number of stores on offer, many potential buyers are refusing to give such strong prices and are opting to wait another week before buying.

“Light stores ranged from €72/head for 11 lambs weighing 29kg up to €90/head for five lambs weighing 34kg.

“Forward stores were more plentiful this week and made from €88/head for 10 lambs weighing 41kg up to €94/head for 28 lambs weighing 42kg.

“In terms of cull ewes, they are consistently a strong trade, especially the heavy ewes which were scarce on the day.

“Well-fleshed ewes made from €115/head up to €131/head, while feeding ewes made from €60/head up to the €100/head mark.”

Brood Trade

Moving onto the breeding sheep, Kevin said that there was a good demand for both ewe lambs and hoggets on the day.

He explained: “Nice Suffolk-cross ewe lambs were a strong trade, which was boosted by the big demand for stores and finished lambs.

Ewe lambs sold from €100/head up to €129/head for strong ewe lambs.

“We also had almost 200 hogget ewes on offer which saw a full clearance. Hogget prices ranged from €165/head up to €205/head and averaged €183.”