Cahir Mart’s manager, Jonathan O’Sullivan, reported a rasping trade for sheep at Tuesday’s sale (March 16), with hogget prices topping at €181/head for 51kg.

Jonathan told AgriLand he has never witnessed the sheep trade as good ever, with every farmer going home happy.

On the day, a steady number of 400 sheep were presented for sale, with all types of hoggets a very strong trade.

Those butcher-type hoggets generally sold from €174/head up to €181/head, while factory-type lambs sold upwards of €145/head and hitting the €170-172/head mark.

Going down in the weights, store hoggets in the 42-43kg bracket were a very sharp trade, with top prices for these lots ranging from €139/head up to €144/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • Eight at 42kg sold for €142/head or €3.38/kg;
  • 10 at 53kg sold for €177/head or €3.33/kg;
  • Four at 51kg sold for €170/head or €3.33/kg;
  • 10 at 39kg sold for €130/head or €3.33/kg;
  • 13 at 45kg sold for €148/head or €3.28/kg;
  • Seven at 51kg sold for €181/head or €3.54/kg;
  • 14 at 46kg sold for €152/head or €3.30/kg;
  • 10 at 43kg sold for €139/head or €3.23/kg.

A good trade was seen for cull ewes also, with a top price of €138/head being paid out for a pen of heavy culls, with store ewes selling back to €31/head.

Ewes with lambs at foot sold from €120/head for ewes with single lambs up to €285/head for ewes with twin lambs at foot.

Speaking to AgriLand after the sale, Jonathan said: “I have never seen a trade like it before. Prices are getting stronger every week.

There is a fierce demand for the butcher and factory hoggets. We are seeing the factory agents going down the weights, as far as 42-43kg in order to get a hold of lambs.

“Also, we are seeing a good few farmers starting market ewe hoggets that would normally be kept on until later in the year.

“Sheep farmers are getting their turn now of really good prices. I suppose the last three or four years sheep have been a good trade here but over the last 12 months or so, the trade has really kicked on.

“Like the farmers selling the stores are very happy with the prices they are getting and the next farmer buying them same stores are also happy as they are getting a good turn out of them as well.

“There were a few rough years for sheep farmers there but now they are being rewarded and it is great to see.”