Fat lambs reach €133/head at Ballinasloe Mart’s final sheep sale of 2020

Fat lambs made up to €133/head at Ballinsloe Mart’s final sheep sale of 2020, in what was an unusually big sale for the Galway-based mart.

The mart’s manager, Eilish Curley, noted that the majority of lambs on offer consisted of butcher, factory and forward-store lambs – with very few light stores on offer.

She said: “We had a big, last sheep sale of the year on Thursday [December 17]. We had over 800 sheep on offer, the majority of which were lambs, while we also had a couple of pens of cull ewes and two pens of in-lamb ewes.

“The butcher and factory lambs finished the year out on a strong note. Heavy, well-fleshed lambs made up to a top price of €133/head.

Prices of €125-130/head for them fat lambs were common on the day. Factory lambs also traded well, with the tops making from €120/head up to €125/head.

“There was a number of forward store lambs on offer and, like previous weeks, sold very well. 37-40kg lambs traded anywhere from €95/head up to €100/head, with slightly heavier lambs in the 41-43kg bracket selling for €100-114/head.

“We had only a small amount of long-keep stores on offer. Prices for these lots were easier than previous weeks. The majority sold from €70/head up to €80/head.

“We also had a couple of pens of cull ewes and these sold from €87/head up to a tops of €120/head for heavy well-fleshed ewes.

“Lastly, we had two pens of in-lamb ewes and these sold strongly. Each pen sold for €170/head and €190/head respectively.”

‘Great year for sheep’

Eilish said that it has been a great year for sheep and that the mart has seen some very big sales this year, particularly in the back end of the year.

She explained: “The sheep trade has been great this year. Our last sale on Thursday was very big for the time of year. We would never have seen the likes of it before. Only two weeks before that we had over 1,300 sheep on offer.

The biggest sale we had this year saw 3,300 sheep on offer back in September. There has definitely been a renewed confidence in the sheep trade this year.

“I would say butcher and factory lambs are €15-20/head stronger than last year and the stores the same and even a bit more.”