Sheep marts: Factory-fit lamb prices back as meat plant disruptions affect demand

The recent beef protests continue to have a significant impact on the sheep trade, with the demand easing for factory-fit lambs.

The high prices of between €100/head and €108/head for factory-fit lambs in recent weeks are becoming a distant memory.

Furthermore, mart managers are reporting prices for these butcher lambs of between €90/head and €97/head.

However, the store lamb trade can offer some optimism for farmers, with prices ranging from €50/head for lighter lambs up to €85/head for heavier types.

The ewe lamb and hogget trade continues to thrive, with mart managers reporting a strong demand for these lots.

Roscommon Mart

There was a large entry of sheep on offer at last week’s sale at Roscommon Mart, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

There was a steady trade for factory-fit lambs, with prices fetching from €100/head for lambs weighing 51.2kg.

There were plenty of good-quality ewe lambs on offer, with a top price of €135/head for lambs weighing 58.7kg.

There was a similar trade for cast ewes, with prices ranging from €44/head up to €110/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 51.2kg: €100/head;
  • 50.3kg: €98/head;
  • 54.9kg: €97/head;
  • 49.3kg: €96/head;
  • 49.1kg: €95/head.

Tuam mart

Tuam Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Tuesday last, September 24. There was a steady trade across all the sheep classes, according to the mart manager, Marian Devane.

There was an active trade for cast ewes, with a top price of €112/head achieved. Moreover, ewe lambs made up to €91/head.

Furthermore, hoggets made up to €190/head, with breeding ewes achieving a top price of €160/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 48kg: €139/head;
  • 47kg: €128/head;
  • 51.5kg: €97/head;
  • 47.5kg: €94/head;
  • 37.5kg: €75/head.

Dowra Mart

A slightly smaller sale of sheep were present at Dowra Mart, Co. Leitrim.

However, there were a large number of store lambs on offer and they were met with an improved trade, with plenty of farmers in the yard to buy stores, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

Furthermore, factory lambs made from €78/head to a top price of €92/head. The best of the ewe lambs made from €80/head to the top price of €100/head.

The good-quality store lambs made from between €70/head and €80/head. Moreover, lighter pens of stores made from between €50/head and €70/head.

The best of the hoggets made from €130/head to a top price of €185/head, with the lighter hoggets making from between €100/head and €130/head.

Raphoe Mart

There was a good entry of sheep on offer at Raphoe Mart on Monday last, September 23.

There was a steady trade throughout all the sheep classes, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

Furthermore, heavy ewes sold from €50/head up to €120/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 27-33kg: €55-70/head;
  • 34-37kg: €70-80/head;
  • 38-44kg: €80-90/head;
  • 44-52kg: €90-100/head.

Carnew Mart

There was a large entry of 4,200 sheep on offer at Carnew Mart’s weekly sheep sale on Thursday last, September 26.

Butcher and factory lambs were easier by €1/head, with a strong demand for store lambs, according to the mart manager, David Quinn.

Furthermore, cull ewes and breeding ewes met an excellent trade, with a full clearance of all stock.

Sample prices:

  • Butcher and factory lambs: €88-98/head;
  • 40-44kg: €82-93/head;
  • 35–39kg: €79-84/head;
  • Under 35kg: €62-78/head;
  • Ewe lambs: €82-119/head;
  • Cull ewes: €55-112/head;
  • Breeding hoggets: €135-180/head;
  • Older breeding ewes: €90-158/head;
  • Rams: €150-470/head.

Blessington Mart

Some 3,864 sheep were on offer at Blessington Mart’s weekly sheep sale on Tuesday last, September 24.

There was a very good trade for all types of ewe lambs and breeding ewes, according to the mart manager John Doyle.

However, prices for butcher and factory-fit lambs were back slightly.

Sample prices:

  • Store lambs over 35kg: €75-85/head;
  • Store lambs under 35kg: €50-75/head;
  • Heavy ewes: €100-130/head;
  • Breeding rams: €250-550/head;
  • Suffolk cross hoggets: €165-295/head;
  • Cheviot hoggets: €170-210/head.

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