Sheep marts: Factory lamb prices down €3-8/head

A tougher trade for factory lambs has been seen at the marts in recent days, with prices back €3-8/head in some locations.

With procurement managers wiping a further 20c/kg off spring lamb quotes this week, farmers with fleshed lambs find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.

Trade remained firm for store lambs and cull ewes, with prices for heavier lots reaching €135/head.

Breeding ewes and hoggets traded well, with farmers thinking of lambing next season. Quality hoggets made a top price of €170/head.

Kilkenny Mart

There were 750 sheep on offer at Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Monday, July 24. A tougher trade for butcher and factory lambs was reported by mart auctioneer, George Candler, with a reduction of €3-8/head compared to last week’s sale.

Butcher lambs sold for €2.20-2.30/kg or €110-120/head in the Co. Kilkenny venue – down from €2.12-2.50/kg achieved last week.

A pen of 10 heavy lambs, weighing 54kg, made €2.22/kg or €120/head.

Factory lambs also met a quieter trade with prices at €2.20-2.30/kg or €95-107/head – down slightly on last week’s sale in Cillin Hill.

Store lamb trade remained solid, according to Candler, as did the price of cull ewes, with lots selling for €45-135/head. Breeding ewes, between two and three-years-old, sold for €125-160/head on the day.

Store lamb prices:
  • 19 lambs: 39kg – €83/head or €2.13/kg;
  • 10 lambs: 37kg – €85/head or €2.30/kg;
  • 12 lambs: 36kg – €76/head or €2.11/kg;
  • 16 lambs: 33kg – €85/head or €2.58/kg.

Mountbellew Mart

There was a large entry of sheep at last Saturday’s sale in Mountbellew Mart. Larger numbers than the previous week were reported.

Factory lambs met a slightly easier trade, while there was good demand for store lambs. These lots made €70-86/head on the day.

Strong demand was also reported for quality lots of ewe lambs – six quality ewe lambs, weighing 41.2kg, sold for €115/head on the day.

Sample lamb prices:
  • Nine lambs: 36.2kg – €84/head or €2.32/kg;
  • 14 lambs: 37kg – €90/head or €2.43/kg;
  • 26 lambs: 41kg – €92/head or €2.24/kg;
  • Seven lambs: 43kg – €100/head or €2.33/kg;
  • 15 lambs: 44.1kg – €104/head or €2.36/kg;
  • 21 lambs: 45.7kg – €106/head or €2.32/kg;
  • 18 lambs: 49.5kg – €112/head or €2.26/kg.

Similar to last week, cast ewes met a strong trade, especially for heavier lots. Prices ranged from €78-128/head for cast ewes at the Co. Galway venue.

Breeding ewes and ewe hoggets also met with a firm trade. Ewe hoggets made €146-170/head, while first-crop and second-crop ewes traded at €125-160/head and €120-157/head, respectively.

Raphoe Mart

Good quality sheep were in strong demand at last Monday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, according to mart manager, Anne Harkin. Good prices were reflected in a full clearance on the day.

Heavy lambs weighing 46-55kg traded at €110-120/head. A number of store lambs were also on offer and lots between 29kg and 33kg traded at €60-70/head.

Fat ewes started at €60/head and made a top price of €115/head at the Co. Donegal venue.

Sample lamb prices:
  • Lambs 29-33kg: €60-75/head;
  • Lambs 34-37kg: €75-85/head;
  • Lambs 38-41kg: €85-95/head;
  • Lambs 42-46kg: €95-110/head;
  • Lambs 46-55kg: €110-120/head.