Sheep marts: Farmers continue to battle with factory agents for well-fleshed hoggets

Over the past week, the number of ewes with lambs at foot has steadily increased, with strong prices for these lots being achieved.

In terms of butcher and factory-fit hoggets, prices for these lots have steadied as of late, with sums of between €120/head and €130/head being achieved.

However, farmers are battling it out with factory agents for these lots, with this leading to improved prices for store hoggets as well.

The demand for in-lamb ewes continues to gain momentum, with farmers paying upwards of €185/head for twin-bearing ewes.

The past week has seen another lift in prices for cast ewes, with over €140/head being achieved in some marts for well-fleshed ewes.

According to mart managers, there has been a strong increase in farmer demand for all types of stock. This can be seen in the store lamb trade, with prices of up to €114/head being achieved for hoggets weighing 43kg.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, February 1.

There was similar trade to the previous week for store lambs, with a slightly improved trade for butcher and factory-fit lambs, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.

Similar to previous weeks, the cast ewe trade continues to hold firm, with prices ranging from €80/head up to €135/head.

In the brood section, prices for these lots ranged from €125/head up to €185/head.

Sample hogget prices:
  • 24 hoggets weighing 47kg sold for €117/head;
  • 16 hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €117/head;
  • Six hoggets weighing 45kg sold for €115/head;
  • 11 hoggets weighing 42kg sold for €110/head;
  • Six hoggets weighing 40kg sold for €108/head;
  • 20 hoggets weighing 39kg sold for €107/head.

Roscommon Mart

There was a large number of sheep on offer at Roscommon Mart on Wednesday last, January 29.

There was a good entry of in-lamb ewes, with a small number of hoggets on offer, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

Hogget prices fetched from €100/head up to €125/head, with stag ewe prices ranging from €70/head up to €124/head.

In-lamb ewes were a good trade, with prices for these lots ranging from €130/head up to €200/head.

Ewes with lambs at foot were a good trade. A ewe with two lambs at foot sold for €295/head, while another ewe with one lamb at foot made €205/head.

Sample prices for factory-fit hoggets:

  • 56kg: €125/head;
  • 51.4kg: €125/head;
  • 57.5kg: €125/head;
  • 53.9kg: €125/head;
  • 52.1kg: €121/head;
  • 50kg: €120/head.

Sample store hogget prices:

  • 44.8kg: €111/head;
  • 44.5kg: €110/head;
  • 44.4kg: €108/head;
  • 43.6kg: €102/head;
  • 41.5kg: €100/head;
  • 37kg: €85/head.

Dowra Mart

Dowra Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Friday last, January 31.

There was a smaller number of sheep on offer compared to the previous week. However, there was a good trade for all classes of sheep, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

Factory-fit hoggets made from €110/head up to €124.50/head, with forward store hoggets making from €90/head up to €109/head.

Eight ewes with 15 lambs at foot sold for €243/head.

Raphoe Mart

Raphoe Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Monday last, February 3. There was a good entry of sheep, with a strong trade for all stock, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

In the cast ewe ring, prices for these lots ranged from €70/head up to €142/head.

Furthermore, factory-fit hogget prices ranged from €120/head up to €130/head.

Ewes with one lamb at foot sold for between €160/head and €190/head. Moreover, ewes with two lambs at foot sold from between €240/head and €295/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 30-35kg: €80-90/head;
  • 35-37kg: €90-100/head;
  • 38-42kg: €100-110/head;
  • 42-47kg: €110-120/head;
  • 48-58kg: €120-130/head.

Tullow Mart

Over 1,400 sheep were on offer at Tullow Mart, on Tuesday last, January 28, with prices up €2.00-3.00/head on the previous week, according to the mart manager, Eric Driver.

The top price on the day was €132/head for a pen of hoggets weighing 52kg.

Furthermore, hoggets weighing over 50kg sold for between €126/head and €132/head. Well-fleshed hoggets weighing between 48kg and 50kg made from €123/head up to €128/head.

There was a lively trade for store lambs, with prices for these lots ranging from €84/head up to a top price of €114/head. The majority of these lots weighed between 30kg and 44kg.

In the brood ring, twin-bearing ewes sold for between €160/head and €185/head, with older in-lamb ewes making upwards of €130/head.

Ewes with two lambs at foot sold up to a top price of €228/head, with some aged ewes with two lambs at foot making €205/head. Moreover, ewes with one lamb at foot sold from €165/head up to €180/head.

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