Sheep marts: ‘Competition necessary for a solid spring lamb trade’

Competition for spring lambs in necessary to ensure a solid spring lamb trade, according to the Auctioneer of Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, George Candler.

Speaking to Agriland, Candler said that the number of spring lambs being sold in marts continues to decrease, as more lambs are going direct for slaughter to factories.

The Auctioneer said that spring lamb prices at yesterday’s sale were back €10-12 on the corresponding sale in 2015, as more and more lambs are going for direct slaughter every year.

Candler said that this move means that factories are facing less competition over the price they pay for spring lamb.

He also said that factories have been able to secure increased numbers of spring lambs over the last few weeks, as some have upped the carcass cut off limit to 21kg deadweight. This luring lambs away from the mart ring.

Mart Trade round up

Kilkenny Mart

The trade for spring lambs was a little easier in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday, according to the Mart Auctioneer George Candler.

Candler said that spring lambs were slightly weaker than the week before, selling to a top price of €120. Last week the best priced spring lambs made €125.

However, he said that hoggets were in shorter supply, as the season draws to a close and these lots slod to a top price of €115 or €1.75-2.00/kg.

On Monday, cast ewes peaked at €116 each, while ewes with lambs sold from €180-250.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 50kg: €120 or €2.40
  • 47kg: €118 or €2.51/kg
  • 46kg: €112 or €2.43/kg
  • 44kg: €115 or €2.61/kg

Mountbellew Mart

There was a larger number of sheep on offer in Mountbellew Mart on Saturday, according to the Mart Manager Marianne Higgins.

The Mart Manager said there was a slight increase in spring lamb prices which traded from €2.50-2.63/kg, while there was also good demand for quality hogget ewes which made €120-150 each.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 40kg: €105 or €2.63/kg
  • 39kg: €102 or €2.61/kg
  • 46kg: €115 or €2.50/kg
  • 44.5kg: €114 or €2.56/kg

There was a smaller number of cast ewes on offer, she said, with the lots on offer meeting a similar trade to last week, selling from €80-118 each.

Ewes with lambs at foot also met with a very brisk trade, third crop ewes sold from €166-230, hogget ewes made €170, while first crop ewes with twin lambs traded at €245 each.

Carnew Mart

Spring lambs improved by €2-3/head in Carnew Mart on Thursday, according to the Mart Manager David Quinn.

Quinn said there was offer 1,300 sheep on offer and spring lambs, especially the quality lots met with good demand. Lambs weighing over 40kg made €105-122, while lots weighing less than 40kg sold from €86-104 each.

Butcher and factory hoggets traded from €108-122, while ewe hoggets made €110-154 each.

Quinn also said there was a large entry of ewes and lambs on offer. Ewes with single lambs made €110-170 and ewes with twins made €185-245 each.

Tullow Mart

The 850 sheep on offer in Tullow Mart continued to meet a steady trade on Tuesday, according to the Mart Manager Eric Driver.

But, he said lambs weighing 40-42kg were easier by €1-2/head on the previous week’s sale.

Lambs over 44kg sold from €118-126, while lighter fleshed lambs (40kg) made €102-116 each.

Driver said that the majority of cast ewes sold from €95-110 each and ewes with lambs at foot made €140-235 each.