Sheep marts: Factory buyers chase hoggets at the ringside

As has been the case over recent weeks, the hogget trade continues to remain in good stead in both the factories and marts.

Factory buyers have been particularly keen to secure finished hoggets of late and, as a result, prices have improved by €10-15/head in some mart venues.

Spring lamb numbers are slowly starting to trickle through and prices have generally ranged from €2.90/kg up to €3.70/kg.

Raphoe Mart

A good entry of sheep was on offer at Raphoe Mart’s weekly sheep sale on Monday last. On the day, heavy spring lambs (48-55kg) sold for €160-178, those weighing 43-48kg traded at €140-160 and the lighter lots (38-43kg) made €120-140.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 32kg: €118 or €3.69/kg;
  • 40kg: €135 or €3.38/kg;
  • 44kg: €159 or €3.61/kg;
  • 48kg: €177 or €3.69/kg.

Looking at hogget prices, the heavy lots (48-65kg) on offer traded at €140-159, hoggets weighing 44-48kg made €120-140 and the lighter stores sold for €100-120.

A number of ewes – both dry and those with lambs at foot – passed through the ring. Ewes with single lambs traded for €130-190, ewes with twins made €180-228 and the dry ewes realised prices of €80-145.

Kilkenny Mart

Trading on the same day as Raphoe Mart, a 100% clearance rate was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill. Commenting on the trade, the mart’s George Candler said: “Numbers are still remaining small, which is helping to keep buyers eagerly sourcing sheep.”

There was a very lively trade for both hoggets and spring lambs on the day. Prices of €2.55-2.72/kg were achieved for butcher hoggets and the factory types traded at €2.40-2.70/kg.

Sample hogget prices:
  • 57kg: €152 or €2.67/kg;
  • 55kg: €148 or €2.69/kg;
  • 54kg: €147 or €2.72/kg;
  • 52kg: €135 or €2.60/kg;
  • 48kg: €129 or €2.69/kg;
  • 47kg: €117 or €2.49/kg;
  • 45kg: €117 or €2.60/kg;
  • 39kg: €97 or €2.49/kg.

Turning to spring lambs, prices of €2.08-3.08/kg or €120-135/head were achieved on the day.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 47kg: €135 or €2.87/kg;
  • 44kg: €135 or €3.07/kg;
  • 43kg: €128 or €2.98/kg;
  • 39kg: €120 or €3.08/kg.

A selection of cast ewes also passed through the ring and these lots sold for €50-159, while ewes with lambs at foot traded from €120 up to €215.

Maam Cross Mart

Sheep numbers were reported to have climbed in Maam Cross Mart’s weekly sheep sale on Saturday last. On the day, hoggets hit a top price of €147 and an average price of €86 was achieved.

A number of ewes with lambs at foot also passed through the ring. An average price of €89 was achieved; the top-priced bunch of two Blackface ewes and four lambs traded for €150.

Carnew Mart

Last Thursday’s sale in Carnew Mart featured an entry of 2,150 sheep. Trading in the Wicklow-based venue seen hogget prices climb by €10-15/head when compared to previous weeks and a top price of €162 was achieved.

Sample hogget prices:
  • >50kg: €145-162/head;
  • 45-49kg: €132-153/head;
  • 38-44kg: €105-131/head;
  • <38kg: €80-102/head.

Spring lambs met a similar trade to previous weeks. Lambs weighing >40kg traded at €130-145 and the lighter lambs (<40kg) sold for €110-125.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 42kg: €142 or €3.38/kg;
  • 46kg: €140 or €3.04/kg;
  • 40kg: €143 or €3.58/kg;
  • 35kg: €112 or €3.20/kg.

Moving to cast ewe prices, heavy lots traded at €110-142 and the lighter classes sold for €60-100. A number of ewes with lambs at foot also passed through the ring; ewes with twins sold for €180-235 and ewes accompanied by single lambs sold for €130-170.