‘It was great to see people around the ring again’ – Baltinglass’s Tom Coleman

Normality, to some extent, resumed at Baltinglass Mart last Saturday, June 13, as the first live auction for sheep – in over three months – was held.

The sale, which was held under strict protocols and social distancing guidelines, resulted in a good trade, with a full clearance on the day.

Factory-fit lambs made from €109/head up to €115/head on the day. Forward-type lambs – weighing 40-42kg – sold from €90/head up to €108/head.

Furthermore, store lambs weighing between 26kg and 33kg made from €70/head up to €87/head. Heavy ewes made up to €120/head on the day.

Sample lamb prices: 

  • 11 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €115/head;
  • 15 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €113/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 45kg sold for €113/head;
  • 23 lambs weighing 44kg sold for €111/head;
  • 15 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €110/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 44kg sold for €109/head;
  • Eight lambs weighing 32kg sold for €80/head;
  • 21 lambs weighing 26kg sold for €70/head.

Speaking to AgriLand about the trade on the day, the mart manager, Tom Coleman, said: “You could see that the farmers were glad to be back. There were some great-quality lambs on offer.

The trade was quite good – for lambs – even though it’s on the way down. This time of the year, when lamb numbers start to increase, the prices start to drop.

“The lightest lambs we had last Saturday were around 26-28kg. They sold for €70/head, which was a decent price for them.

“Forward-type lambs were a solid trade as well. Factory-type lambs sold from €109/head up to €115/head.

“Good-quality ewes were also a good trade. Although, prices have dropped – for ewes – compared to a few weeks ago.

“We didn’t have any breeding hoggets on the day, but, over the next few weeks, I’m sure we will see a lot more coming on stream.”

‘Happy to be back’

Speaking about the mood around the mart on the day, Tom said: “There was a lot of positivity around the place.

We [mart staff] were delighted to get back to some normality last Saturday. It was great to see the smiles on the farmers’ faces again. It had been a long time since we were around the ring.

“Over the last number of weeks, we had been operating a tender-type system, so it was nice to get away from that and go back to doing things the way we all know and enjoy.

“It was great to see people around the ring and in fairness everyone abided by the rules we had in place. We were able to accommodate 23 people in the ring – at any one time.

“The floor and seating areas were marked out – 2m apart – and it worked perfectly.”