Sheep marts: Ewes and lambs becoming more plentiful but prices dip slightly

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

The number of ewes and lambs presented for sale has increased in recent weeks, she said, as the mart enters into the peak period for sales of these lots.

However, the prices paid have dropped in recent weeks due to the extra numbers available on the market, she said.

But, despite the ease in the trade for ewes with lambs at foot, the cast ewe trade remained firm, with cull ewes trading from €85-141/head.

Sample ewe and lamb prices:
  • Second crop ewe with twin lambs – €241
  • Third crop ewes with single lambs – €168
  • First crop ewes with twin lambs – €270
  • Third and fourth crops ewes with twin lambs – €168

Spring lambs and hoggets also met with a good trade, with the prices paid remaining similar to last week’s levels.

On Saturday, spring lambs traded from €2.72-2.98/kg, while the hoggets on offer made €2.36-2.50/kg.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 47kg – €140
  • 42.5kg – €125
  • 45.5kg – €130
  • 39kg – €110
  • 43kg – €117

Kilkenny Mart

Cast ewes sold very well in Kilkenny Mart on Monday, according to the Mart Auctioneer George Candler, with the top priced ewe on the day making €149. Cast ewes generally sold from €70-149/head.

In the hogget and spring lamb ring, the trade continued to remain steady, with the top of the spring lambs selling for €140 each.

The majority of the spring lambs on offer sold from €3.00-3.15/kg. The hogget trade remained quite similar to previous weeks, as these lots sold from €2.20-2.55/kg or €128-139/head.

Sample hogget prices
  • 62kg – €139
  • 56kg – €135
  • 53kg – €134
  • 52kg – €128

Raphoe Mart

Further north in Raphoe Mart in Co. Donegal, spring lambs sold to a top price of €147.50, as demand was good with factory agents and butchers present, according to the Mart Manager Anne Harkin.

Hoggets sold to a high of €143, but these lots generally sold from €136-143 each, spring lambs also met a good trade, as these lots made €125-147.50.

However, unlike Mountbellew Mart, the ewes and lambs on offer in Raphoe Mart met with strong demand with a full clearance for all lots.

Ewes with single lambs made €155-170 each, while ewes sold with twins traded from €210-250 each. Cast ewes also sold well in the Co. Donegal venue making from €70-143 each.