Sheep marts: Increased bite around the ring sees factory-fit lamb prices on the rise

Mart managers across the country are reporting increased demand for factory-fit lambs. This has seen lamb prices break past the €100/head mark.

However, this increased demand has had a knock-on effect on the store lamb trade, with prices back slightly. The average price for these lots was €70/head.

The number of sheep entered into marts seems to be tightening, with a noticeable drop in the number of hoggets and store lambs on offer.

Furthermore, the trade for cast ewes continues to thrive, with prices ranging from €60/head up to €140/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Some 2,000 sheep were on offer at Baltinglass Mart’s weekly sale on Saturday, October 19.

There was a steady trade across all the sheep classes, with second and third crop ewe prices ranging from €135/head up to €170/head.

Furthermore, cast ewes sold from €60/head up to €108/head. Factory-fit lambs weighing between 50kg and 60kg sold from €85/head up to a top price of €103/head.

Store lambs weighing between 33kg and 37kg sold from €2.00 to €2.70kg.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 10 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €114/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 50kg sold for €97/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 48kg sold for €94/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 45kg sold for €93/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 60kg sold for €97/head;
  • 13 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €92/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 45kg sold for €90/head.

Raphoe Mart

There was a smaller entry of sheep on offer at Raphoe Mart on Monday, October 21. There was a strong trade for all classes of sheep on offer, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

Furthermore, hogget prices ranged from €120/head up to a top price of €170/head. Heavy ewes sold from €60/head up to €130/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 28-34kg: €60-70/head;
  • 35-39kg: €70-80/head;
  • 39-44kg: €80-90/head;
  • 44-55kg: €90-95/head.

Headford Mart:

Headford Mart’s weekly sheep sale took place on Saturday, October 19.

There was a good trade for cull ewes, according to the mart manager, Joe Wynne.

Furthermore, lambs made from €72/head up to €121/head. Factory-fit lambs weighing 53kg sold for €110/head. Cull ewe prices ranged from €76/head up to a top price of €150/head.

Breeding ewes were a steady trade, with a top price of €126/head achieved on the day.

Sample prices:

  • 10 store lambs weighing 35kg sold for €72/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 46kg sold for €90/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 48.5kg sold for €95/head;
  • Three ewes sold for €100/head;
  • Eight ewes sold for €101/head.

Dowra Mart

Some 1,600 sheep were on offer at Dowra Mart’s weekly sale on Friday last, October 25. There was a sharp trade for all classes of sheep on offer, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

Factory lambs made from €80/head up to a top price of €95/head for 48 crossbred ram lambs weighing 50kg.

Furthermore, ewe lambs made from €88/head up to a top price of €133/head for seven Suffolk cross lambs.

Forward store lambs made from €65/head up to a top price of €82/head, with lighter mountain stores prices ranging from €59/head up to €65/head.

There was a large entry of breeding ewes and these were met with a strong trade. Prices for these lots ranged from €75/head up to €112/head.

Blessington Mart

Blessington Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Tuesday, October 22.

Heavy lambs were better by €1.00-3.00/head on the previous week, according to the mart manager John Doyle. Furthermore, there was a steady trade for store lambs and breeding ewes.

Breeding ewe prices ranged from €120/head up to €176/head. Store lamb prices ranged from €55/head up to a top price of €88/head.

Sample prices:

  • Factory-fit lambs: €89-97/head;
  • Suffolk cross ewe lambs: €90-122/head;
  • Heavy ewes: €98-124/head;
  • Suffolk rams: €150-700/head;
  • Cheviot rams: €100-740/head.

Roscommon Mart

There was a large entry of sheep on offer at Roscommon Mart on Wednesday last, October 23.

There was a steady trade for finished lambs, with prices fetching €98/head for lambs weighing 49kg, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

There was an active trade for cast ewes, with prices ranging from €30/head up to €95/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 49.6kg: €98/head;
  • 61.5kg: €98/head;
  • 48.3kg: €97/head;
  • 48.2kg: €97/head;
  • 50.2kg: €96/head;
  • 46kg: €95.50/head.

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