Sheep Marts: Factory lambs prices ease, but store lambs remain in demand

Store lamb prices have eased by €2-3/head in some locations, with large entries reported. However, in the east of the country, store lambs were in very short supply.

Factory lambs traded at €2.25-2.60/kg in recent days; similar to last week. However, prices were down slightly in the east.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 650 sheep were on offer at Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday – a smaller sale than the week previous. Trade remained strong, especially for well-fleshed lambs weighing 46kg+.

Heavy lambs peaked at €135/head, while cull ewes made a high of €120/head. Store lambs were in very short supply, according to mart auctioneer George Candler.

Butcher lambs made €2.40-2.53/kg or €112-135/head in the Co. Kilkenny venue.

A pen of eight lambs weighing 51kg sold for €2.53/kg or €129/head and 21 heavy lambs (53kg) sold for €2.53/kg or €134/head.

Factory lambs traded at €2.25-2.40/kg or €98-105/head – down slightly on last week’s sale in Cillin Hill.

Sample factory lamb prices:
  • 11 lambs: 45kg – €105 or €2.33/kg;
  • 10 lambs: 44kg – €104 or €2.36/kg;
  • 12 lambs: 43kg – €98 or €2.28/kg;
  • 21 lambs: 42kg – €101 or €2.40/kg.

Carnew Mart

There was a very large entry of sheep at last Thursday’s sale in Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow. A total of 3,273 sheep were on offer on the day.

There was strong demand for butcher and factory lambs; prices remained similar to the previous week’s sale. A top price of €124.50/head was achieved on the day.

Sample lamb prices:
  • Over 50kg: €118-124.50;
  • 45-49kg: €112-120;
  • 40-44kg: €96-114;
  • 35-39kg: €79-95;
  • 30-34kg: €66-85;
  • Under 30kg: €55-72.

With a large number of stores on offer, prices eased by €2-3/head on the previous week – lambs sold for €40-50 over.

Cast ewes met a strong trade, with no change in price reported.

Sample ewe prices:
  • Heavy ewes: €105-131;
  • Lighter ewes: €60-100;
  • Hogget ewes: €130-170;
  • Older breeding ewes: €110-140.

Mountbellew Mart

Over 1,500 sheep were on offer last Saturday at Mountbellew Mart, Co. Galway. Factory lambs were a similar trade to the previous week’s sale. A very large entry of store lambs met with a slightly easier trade.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 13 lambs: 34.5kg – €83;
  • Nine lambs: 35.5kg – €84;
  • 13 lambs: 39.5kg – €95;
  • 20 lambs: 39.8kg – €96;
  • Eight lambs: 40.6kg – €90;
  • 16 lambs: 43.3kg – €103;
  • 14 lambs: 44.1kg – €104;
  • 12 lambs: 45kg – €107;
  • Two lambs: 52.8kg – €116.

Cast ewes and breeding ewes saw an improvement in trade on the week previous.

Hoggets on offer sold for €130-162/head, while first-crop ewes made €125-168/head and second-crop ewes traded at €120-151/head.

There was a very strong trade for a large entry of cast ewes in the Galway-based venue. Prices of €77-120/head were achieved for these lots.