Sheep marts: Lamb prices come under pressure in some venues

Spring lamb quotes have held relatively stable in recent weeks. For the most part, factory buyers are offering 450-460c/kg to secure supplies.

However, deals are being struck at higher prices; some farmers have achieved 480-490c/kg since the beginning of the week.

Despite this stability, the sheep trade has been mixed in venues across the country in recent days. Some marts have seen lamb prices drop by €3-6/head; the trade has remained relatively unchanged in others.

Raphoe Mart

Monday’s sheep sale in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal featured a good entry of sheep, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

Quality lambs, she added, met a steady trade and prices of €92-100 were obtained for lambs weighing 47-52kg.

Lighter store lambs (30-34kg) traded at €55-70, lambs weighing 34-38kg sold for €77-84 and forward stores (42-46kg) made €84-92.

In addition, a number of hogget ewes passed through the ring of the Donegal-based venue. For the most part, these lots sold for €140-152 each. The cast ewes on offer traded at €60-108.

Kilkenny Mart

Some 760 sheep passed through the ring of Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Monday last. According to the mart’s George Candler, it was a disappointing day for sheep producers. This comes as the prices achieved were back by €3-6/head on the previous week’s sale.

The auctioneer added that lambs sold to a top call of €107. Butcher lambs traded at €1.80-1.96/kg, prices of €1.80-2.02/kg were obtained for factory lambs and the store lambs on offer sold for €1.85-2.08/kg.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 59kg – €107 or €1.81/kg;
  • 54kg – €106 or €1.96/kg;
  • 45kg – €81 or €1.80/kg;
  • 44kg – €89 or €2.02/kg;
  • 40kg – €75 or €1.88/kg;
  • 38kg – €77 or €2.03/kg.

Carnew Mart

Almost 2,200 sheep passed through the ring of Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, on Thursday last (September 28).

According to the mart manager, David Quinn, there was a strong trade for butcher and factory lambs; all other classes of sheep remained steady at last week’s rates, he added.

Lambs over 50kg sold at €102-115, forward stores (43-45kg) made €86-102 and prices of €63-78 were achieved for store lambs.

A number of breeding sheep were also on offer at Thursday’s sale. Ewe lambs made €75-115, hoggets ewes traded at €120-165 and older breeding ewes sold for €95-135.