Sheep marts: Lamb trade continues to thrive, especially for store lambs

A strong, great, excellent and firm trade were some of the words that mart managers described the trade for sheep last week.

Butcher lambs, across marts, last week made anywhere from €116/head up to a top of €135/head. However, in general, the majority of these types sold for €118-125/head.

Factory-fit lambs were running similar to the week before. Prices for these lots ranged from €104/head up to €116/head, with some units exceeding this price range.

Again, similar to the last few weeks, the store lamb trade continues to thrive. Forward-type lambs continue to be in strong demand. Lambs weighing 39-42kg are selling from €94/head up to €107/head.

Lighter store lambs weighing anywhere from 27kg up to 38kg made from €71/head up to €97/head, with light mountain-type store lambs selling from €55/head up to €80/head.

A strong trade for cast ewes, in particular heavy ewes, was reported last week. Prices for these lots ranged between €120/head up to €135/head, with some mart managers reporting prices in excess of €145/head in places.

A strong number of breeding ewe hoggets are coming on stream across marts and again a strong trade is being reported for these types. In general, prices for these lots are ranging between €120/head and €212/head; however, the majority of these types are selling from €150/head up to €190/head.

Furthermore, breeding ewes are making from €110/head up to €150/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday, June 18. There was a strong entry of sheep, which saw a complete clearance on the day, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.

Factory-fit lambs made up to €116/head. In general, prices for these lots ranged between €105/head and €116/head.

Forward-type lambs weighing between 39kg and 42kg sold from €94/head up to €103/head.

Ewe hoggets on the day made from €120/head up to €150/head. Moreover, cast ewes sold for €65-134/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 18 lambs weighing 33.6kg sold for €118/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €116/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 44kg sold for €108/head;
  • 14 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €105/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 42kg sold for €103/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 41kg sold for €94/head;
  • Five lambs weighing 38kg sold for €92/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 38kg sold for €85/head;
  • 14 lambs weighing 37kg sold for €83/head;
  • 15 lambs weighing 34kg sold for €80/head;
  • 21 lambs weighing 31kg sold for €76/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 27kg sold for €71/head.

Dowra Mart

Just under 3,000 sheep were sold at Dowra Mart on Friday last, July 17.

According to the mart manager, Terry McGovern, the trade was firm for all classes of sheep.

Butcher lambs made from €121/head up to €133/head. Factory-fit lambs sold from €103.50/head up to €116/head.

Lambs weighing between 35kg and 40kg made from €94/head up to €100/head, while light mountain-type store lambs sold from €55/head up to €87.50/head.

Forward and heavy cull ewes made from €80/head up to a top price of €133/head, while store ewes sold for €50-80/head.

Sample lamb prices: 
  • Seven lambs weighing 53kg sold for €133/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 48kg sold for €121/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 44kg sold for €116/head;
  • 40 lambs weighing 42.5kg sold for €114/head;
  • 41 lambs weighing 41kg sold for €107.50/head;
  • 33 lambs weighing 39kg sold for €98/head;
  • Eight lambs weighing 38kg sold for €97/head;
  • 18 lambs weighing 30kg sold for €87.50/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 31.5kg sold for €85.50/head.

Enniscorthy Mart

There was a strong entry of sheep at Enniscorthy Mart on Wednesday last, July 15.

According to the assistant mart manager, Kevin Murphy, there was a “very strong trade” for all types of lambs, with cull ewe prices also better by €10-15/head in places.

There was a strong demand from local butchers according to Kevin, which gave rise to some “exceptional prices”.

Butcher lamb prices ranged from €116/head for lambs weighing 48kg up to €135/head for lambs weighing 53kg. Factory lamb prices ranged anywhere from €107/head up to €117/head.

Sample butcher and factory-fit lamb prices: 

  • Six lambs weighing 53kg sold for €135/head;
  • Four lambs weighing 48kg sold for €128/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 50kg sold for €122/head;
  • Seven lambs weighing 49kg sold for €117/head;
  • 21 lambs weighing 42kg sold for €108/head;
  • Four lambs weighing 45kg sold for €110/head;
  • 11 lambs weighing 47kg sold for €116/head.

There was a large entry of store lambs on the day, which were met with a good trade.

Forward stores made from €93/head up to €104/head. Light stores made up a large proportion of the sale and prices for these lots ranged from €75/head for lambs weighing 29kg up to €94/head for lambs weighing 36kg.

Sample store lamb prices:

  • 20 lambs weighing 40kg sold for €97/head;
  • Four lambs weighing 39kg sold for €104/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 26kg sold for €76/head;
  • 31 lambs weighing 31kg sold for €81/head;
  • Nine lambs weighing 36kg sold for €94/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 32kg sold for €86/head;
  • 16 lambs weighing 37kg sold for €90/head;
  • 26 lambs weighing 35kg sold for €85/head.

Cast ewes were more plentiful last week, Kevin noted and prices for these lots were up anywhere from €10/head up to €15/head on last week – in particular for heavy cull ewes.

Sample cast ewe prices:

  • Two ewes weighing 105kg sold for €142/head;
  • 10 ewes weighing 90kg sold for €136/head;
  • One ewe weighing 100kg sold for €148/head;
  • 11 ewes weighing 95kg sold for €135/head;
  • Seven ewes weighing 65kg sold for €84/head;
  • Four ewes weighing 75kg sold for €114/head;
  • Five ewes weighing 68kg sold for €89/head.

Around 150 ewe hoggets were presented for sale on the day and similar to the lambs and ewes, there was a “great trade” for these types. In general, these lots made from €175/head up to €212/head.