Sheep marts: No bite in the trade, as lamb prices continue to fall by €1-2/head

The low base quotes of 430-435c/kg that factories are offering are having a negative impact on the sheep trade.

Factory-fit lamb prices are much the same with prices ranging from as low as €84/head up to a top price of €96/head for well-fleshed animals over 50kg.

There are lambs in the factory that are being slaughtered at this weight and achieving a similar price.

The number of hoggets presented at marts are getting smaller; however, the trade for these lots continues to thrive, with prices ranging from €120/head up to €210/head.

Blessington Mart

Some 4,668 sheep were on offer at Blessington Mart’s weekly sale on Tuesday last, October 8.

The lamb trade was that little bit easier by €1.00-3.00/head on last week, according to the mart manager, John Doyle.

Furthermore, factory-fit lamb prices ranged from €86/head up to €96/head. Store lambs weighing over 35kg made €72/head up to a top price of €84/head.

Lighter lots of store lambs weighing under 35kg made €52/head up to a top price of €72/head.

Sample breeding ewe and hogget prices:

  • Suffolk cross hogget ewes: €132-174/head;
  • Suffolk cross three and four-year-old ewes: €100-142/head;
  • Cheviot hogget ewes: €120-177/head;
  • Cheviot three and four-year-old ewes: €100-184/head

Roscommon Mart

There was a smaller entry of sheep on offer at last week’s sale at Roscommon Mart on Wednesday last, October 9.

There was a steady trade for finished lambs, with prices fetching €100/head for lambs weighing 49.7kg, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

There was an active trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €60/head up to €100/head.

Sample factory-fit lamb prices:

  • 49.7kg: €100/head;
  • 51kg: €100/head;
  • 51.9kg: €100/head;
  • 50.5kg: €98/head;
  • 50kg: €95/head;
  • 58kg: €95/head;
  • 53.4kg: €95/head.

Tuam Mart

Tuam Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Monday last, October 7. There was a good trade for hoggets and breeding ewes, according to the mart manager, Marian Devane.

Cast ewes were a good trade, with a top price of €112/head achieved for these lots.

Moreover, breeding ewes made up to €148/head – down €80/head on last week.

There was a smaller number of hoggets on offer, with a top price of €207/head achieved on the day – down €30/head on last week.

Sample lamb prices:

Ewe lambs:

  • 58kg: €148/head;
  • 48kg: €128/head.

Wether lambs:

  • 53kg: €100/head;
  • 51kg: €97/head;
  • 46.6kg: €90/head.

Raphoe Mart

Raphoe Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Monday last, October 7. There was a good trade for all stock on offer, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

Furthermore, hoggets achieved a top price of €210/head. Heavy ewes sold from €60/head up to €115/head.

Three ewe lambs weighing 57kg sold for a top price of €138/head.

Lambs sold at:
  • 28-34kg: €60-70/head;
  • 34-37kg: €70-80/head;
  • 38-46kg: €80-90/head;
  • 47-53kg: €90-100/head.

Dowra mart

A bigger sale of sheep were presented at Dowra Mart’s weekly sale on Friday last, October 11.

Poor factory prices seem to be affecting the factory-fit lamb trade, with not as many buyers for these lots, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

However, the breeding ewes were a strong trade and the hoggets were also a sharper trade.

Factory lambs made from €78/head up to a top price of €91.50/head for 15 ram lambs weighing 49kg.

Furthermore, the tops of the ewe lambs made from €75/head up to €94/head, while store lambs made from €50/head up to a top price of €75/head.

Hogget ewes made from €100/head up to €166/head, with breeding ewe prices ranging from €70/head up to a top price of €120/head.

A special sale of rams saw Cheviot rams making from €200/head up to a top price €400/head. Furthermore, cross-bred rams made from €150/head up to a top price of €510/head.

Headford Mart

Headford Mart’s weekly sheep sale took place on Saturday last, October 12.

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

Furthermore, lambs made from €52/head for lighter lots up to €125/head for heavier types. Cull ewe prices ranged from €62/head up to a top price of €87/head.

Breeding ewes were a steady trade, with prices ranging from €99/head up to €115/head.

Moreover, hogget prices ranged from €150/head up to a top price of €192/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 44kg: €120/head;
  • 41kg: €105/head;
  • 51kg: €125/head;
  • 36kg: €84/head;
  • 42kg: €96/head;
  • 46kg: €105/head.

Carnew mart:

Some 3,000 sheep were on offer at Carnew Sheep Mart on Thursday last, October 10.

There was an active trade across all four sheep classes according to the mart manager, David Quinn.

Furthermore, prices for ewe lambs ranged from €70/head up to a top price of €107/head.

The majority of the cast ewes on offer sold from €70/head up to €80/head.

The top price on the day was achieved by a pen of nine hoggets that sold for €166/head. Furthermore, five Suffolk cross third and fourth crop ewes sold for a top price €158/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • Three ewe lambs weighing 39.6kg sold for €83.50/head;
  • Five wether lambs weighing 41.2kg sold for €81/head;
  • 18 ewe lambs weighing 39.7kg sold for €72.50/head;
  • 10 ewe lambs weighing 43.6kg sold for €107/head;
  • Four ewe lambs weighing 28kg sold for €69.50/head.

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