Sheep marts: Quality breeding stock proving popular with purchasers

Managers in sheep marts across the country have reported good clearances for all stock in recent days.

Like last week, breeding stock and quality sheep remained popular with purchasers. However, some mart managers did report a reduction in the numbers being offered for sale.

Carnew Mart

Some 2,160 sheep went under the hammer on Thursday at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow. David Quinn, the mart manager, noted that a lower number of sheep were entered into the sale.

He said: “There was a strong trade for butcher and factory lambs; all other classes remained steady with prices similar to last week.”

Lambs weighing over 50kg made €102-115/head, lighter lambs (43-45kg) sold for €86-102/head and lots weighing 38-42kg traded at €76-85/head.

Store lambs, he said, made €63-78/head, while ewe lambs sold for €75-115 each.

Quinn also touched on the prices achieved for the breeding sheep on offer. Good quality hoggets, he said, traded at €120-165/head and prices of €95-135/head were achieved for older breeding ewes.

In addition, breeding rams made €150-460/head on the day.

Mountbellew Mart

A special show and sale of ewe lambs was the main attraction at the weekly sheep sale held in Mountbellew Mart on Saturday.

This entry of ewe lambs attracted a large number of buyers; all of whom were willing to put their hands into their pockets to secure stock.

Due to the strength of this demand, the first prize pen of ewe lambs fetched €149/head. In addition, prices of €111-119/head were achieved for some of the other lots of ewe lambs on offer.

Sample wether lamb prices:
  • 10 lambs: 39.4kg – €86/head;
  • 20 lambs: 34kg – €78/head;
  • 17 lambs: 38.5kg – €86/head;
  • 18 lambs: 42.5kg – €87/head.

A large number of breeding ewes were also on offer; these lots were said to have met an improved and brisk trade.

Sample ewe prices:
  • Hogget ewes: €136-180/head;
  • First-crop ewes: €120-159/head;
  • Second-crop ewes: €110-151/head;
  • Third-crop ewes –  €90-122/head.

In addition, cast ewes were pretty much unchanged from last week; prices of €64-90/head were achieved on the day.

Kilkenny Mart

Monday’s sale in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, featured a large entry of sheep. According to the mart’s auctioneer, George Candler, the lamb trade remained steady.

On the day, he said, quality lambs fetched a top price of €112/head. Cull ewe prices peaked at €110/head and breeding hoggets stretched to a top price of €170/head, he said.

Butcher lamb prices:
  • 36 lambs: 54kg – €112/head or €2.07/kg;
  • 20 lambs: 53kg – €104/head or €1.96/kg;
  • 16 lambs: 52kg – €104/head or €2.00/kg;
  • 23 lambs: 51kg – €103/head or €2.02/kg.

Store lambs met a firm trade; reaching prices between €65-€87/head. Cast ewes remained similar to last week’s sale and made €40-110/head.

Also on the day, Charollais rams sold for €350-€580/head, Suffolk rams made €300-€500/head and Texel rams traded at €250-€500/head.

Factory lamb prices:
  • 10 lambs: 48kg – €98/head or €2.04/kg;
  • 15 lambs: 47kg – €100/head or €2.13/kg;
  • 12 lambs: 46kg – €94/head or €2.04/kg;
  • 10 lambs: 45kg – €95/head or €2.11/kg.