Sheep marts: Strong farmer demand for quality ewe lambs

Breeding stock met a better trade at the marts in recent days than has previously been the case in recent weeks. Hogget ewes fetched as high as €220/head in some venues around the country.

Farmers continue to show strong demand for quality lots of ewe lambs, while improved trade was also reported for butcher and factory sheep.

In addition, an increase in the number of buyers of store lambs has also been seen around the country.

Mountbellew Mart

Last Saturday was the largest entry of the year so far in Mountbellew Mart.

Lambs met an improved trade on the previous week, with good demand reported for fleshy lambs and quality lots of ewe lambs. 12 quality ewe lambs weighing 46.2kg sold for €112/head on the day.

The Co. Galway venue also saw an increased number of buyers for store lambs. These lots ranged in price from €72 to €94/head.

Sample wether lamb prices:
  • 6 lambs: 34.2kg – €78/head;
  • 10 lambs: 39.5kg – €92/head;
  • 14 lambs: 42.8kg – €93/head;
  • 13 lambs: 44.5kg – €95/head;
  • 9 lambs: 49.8kg – €107/head.

Cast ewes met a slightly easier trade to the previous week. However, a strong trade remained for heavier ewes with prices ranging from €70 to €110/head.

Breeding ewes and ewe hoggets met with brisk trade last Saturday. Hogget ewes achieved prices of up to €187/head.

Sample ewe prices:
  • Hogget ewes – €144-187/head;
  • First-crop ewes – €128-172/head;
  • Second-crop ewes – €115-161/head;
  • Third-crop ewes – €100-131/head.

Carnew Mart

Some 3,270 sheep were on offer last Thursday in Carnew Mart. The Co. Wicklow venue reported an improved trade for butcher and factory sheep.

Live exporters were active at the ringside for heavy ram lambs – a 52kg ram lamb reached a top price of €118 on the day.

Last Thursday also saw a strong farmer demand for ewe lambs. Prices for these lots ranged from €82 to €118/head – 35kg ewe lambs sold for €115/head at the Wicklow venue.

Factory lamb prices:
  • 44-49kg – €95-112/head;
  • 40-43kg – €85-97/head;
  • 35-39kg – €72-87/head;
  • Under 35kg – €56-83/head.

Trade for cull ewes and breeding ewes was reported similar to the previous week. Cull ewes sold for €65-123/head. Hoggets made up to €182/head, while older breeding ewes traded at €95-138/head.

Roscommon Mart

Good numbers were reported again at last Wednesday’s sale in Roscommon Mart. There was a similar trade for spring lambs – a top price of €111 achieved for a 55.3kg lot.

A pen of good quality ewe lambs weighing 44.7kg sold for €120/head on the day.

Continued demand for store lambs was reported and lots traded at €2.07-2.44/kg. Prices for cast ewes ranged from €40 up to €125/head.

Sample finished lamb prices:
  • 44.2kg – €103/head or €2.33/kg;
  • 46.5kg – €106/head or €2.28/kg;
  • 48kg – €105/head or €2.19/kg;
  • 49.7kg – €108/head or €2.17/kg;
  • 50.2kg – €108/head or €2.15/kg;
  • 50.3kg – €105/head or €2.09/kg;
  • 55.3kg – €111/head or €2.01/kg.

Sample store lamb prices:
  • 34.8kg – €85/head or €2.44/kg;
  • 36.5kg – €75.5/head or €2.07/kg;
  • 36.6kg – €77/head or €2.10/kg;
  • 37.1kg – €79/head or €2.13/kg;
  • 37.1kg – €80.5/head or €2.17/kg;
  • 41kg – €85/head or €2.07/kg;
  • 41.2kg – €90/head or €2.18/kg.

Last Saturday saw an increased number of excellent quality breeding stock on offer at the Co. Roscommon venue.

Breeding ewes met a better trade than the previous week. Two-year-old ewes made €140-182/head, while hoggets fetched as high as €220/head.