Sheep marts: Improved trade for finished lambs

A strong trade across the board has been reported by many mart managers over the past week, with prices for finished lambs stronger in many marts.

With numbers for factory-finished lambs remaining tight, factory agents have been very active across marts to find suitable lambs.

Butcher lambs have been trading up to as high as €120/head; however, for the most part, prices for these lots have been ranging between €110/head up to €116/head. 

Factory lambs, over the past week, have been trading from €96/head up to €112/head, with forward-type lambs (40-42kg) making from €94/head up to the €100/head mark.

Stores remain a good trade across marts. As mentioned already, forward-type stores continue to trade from €90/head upwards.

Lighter stores, in the 35-38kg weight bracket, have been trading from €84-90/head. Lambs weighing less than 35kg have generally been selling from €55/head for mountain-types up to €85/head for better-quality, lowland-types.

Also Read: Pics from the mart: Heavy lambs hit €112/head at Loughrea

Cull ewes have been trading well over the past week. Prices for these lots have been varying from €105/head up to €125/head for well-fleshed lots.

There has been a good demand for store ewes over the last few weeks. Prices for these types have been ranging anywhere from €70/head up to €95/head.

Hogget and breeding ewe numbers are getting smaller across marts. Good-quality hoggets are making from €165/head up to €180/head, with select lots exceeding this price range.

Plainer-quality lots are generally selling from €130/head up to €155/head. Breeding ewes have been making from €70/head up to €190/head.

Dowra Mart

Terry McGovern reported a similar size sale to the previous week at Dowra Mart on Friday (October 9), with just over 1,800 sheep being sold on the day.

He noted that the trade was also slightly stronger than the previous week. Factory lambs made from €96/head up to a top call of €116/head, while forward-store lambs – which were a very strong trade, according to Terry – made up to €98/head.

In general, lowland-type stores made from €78/head up to over the €90/head mark, while mountain-type stores sold from €55/head up to €78/head.

Terry reported a smaller entry of hoggets. These types made from €120/head up to a top call of €160/head. Cull ewes made from €80/head up to €120/head.

Sample butcher and factory-fit lamb prices: 

  • 10 lambs weighing 51kg sold for €116/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 49kg sold for €114/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €113.50/head;
  • 24 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €107/head;
  • 17 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €105.50/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €103/head;
  • 22 lambs weighing 41kg sold for €102.50/head;
  • 37 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €102/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 41kg sold for €102/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Tom Coleman of Baltinglass Mart reported a “very strong selling trade” at the mart’s weekly sale on Saturday (October 10).

Butcher lambs made up to €115/head, while factory-fit lambs sold up to €112/head. There was also a strong trade for Suffolk-cross ewe lambs on the day. Ewe lambs over 40kg made up to €118/head.

Store lambs continue to be a good trade at the Wicklow-based mart. Forward-type store lambs sold from €91/head up to over the €100/head mark.

Stores from 29kg up to 38kg made from €65/head up to €90/head.

In terms of breeding sheep, hogget ewes made from €140/head up to a top call of €190/head.

Older breeding ewes traded from €70/head up to a tops of €122/head. Finally, cull ewes sold from €50/head up to €118/head for heavy ewes.

Sample butcher and factory-fit lamb prices: 

  • Four lambs weighing 53kg sold for €115/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 51kg sold for €112/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 48kg sold for €112/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 46kg sold for €111/head.

Sample ewe lamb prices: 

  • 10 lambs weighing 42kg sold for €110/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €109/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 46kg sold for €118/head;
  • Nine lambs weighing 42kg sold for €106/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 47kg sold for €105/head.

Sample store lamb prices: 

  • 10 lambs weighing 39kg sold for €101/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 39kg sold for €93/head;
  • 14 lambs weighing 35kg sold for €91/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 38kg sold for €90/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 35kg sold for €89/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 35kg sold for €78/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 32kg sold for €74/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 32kg sold for €71/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 29kg sold for €65/head.