Sheep marts: Strong demand for well-fleshed cast ewes

There was a strong number of sheep on offer in marts across the country last week, despite the poor weather conditions – as prices remain relatively on par compared to the previous week.

Similar to the previous week, butcher and factory-fit hoggets are making up to €140/head, with prices for these lots ranging between €115/head and €135/head.

Forward store hoggets remain a strong trade, with prices of €115-120/head being achieved for lots weighing up to 43kg.

The same can be said for cast ewes, with plenty of interest for these lots. In general, heavy ewes are making anywhere from €110/head up to €145/head. Feeding ewes are making between €60/head and €90/head.

There was a slight drop in the prices being offered for in-lamb ewes, with many mart managers reporting prices of up to €175/head, which is a €10-20/head drop on previous weeks.

However, when it comes to ewes and lambs at foot, there was little change in the prices being offered for these lots. In general, a ewe with one lamb at foot made up to €190/head, while ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €295/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, February 29. There was a strong trade for nice quality butcher and factory-fit hoggets, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.

There was a strong demand for hoggets weighing between 40kg and 45kg, with these type of lots of particular interest to factory agents.

The top price on the day was €140/head for a pen of hoggets weighing 55.5kg.

In general, hoggets weighing between 50kg and 60kg made from €120/head up to €140/head. Moreover, up to €119/head was paid for hoggets weighing between 40kg and 50kg.

Lighter store hoggets were a good trade, with a top price of €109/head achieved on the day.

In the cast ewe section, prices for these lots were back marginally by €2.00/head, with the majority of these lots making between €80/head and €128/head.

Similar to previous weeks, there was a solid trade for in-lamb ewes, with a top price of €175/head achieved on the day in this section.

Sample hogget prices:

  • Six hoggets weighing 55.5kg sold for €140/head;
  • Four hoggets weighing 50kg sold for €135/head;
  • Six hoggets weighing 47kg sold for €126/head;
  • Seven hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €123/head;
  • Three hoggets weighing 43kg sold for €122/head;
  • 10 hoggets weighing 45kg sold for €120/head.

Raphoe Mart

Raphoe Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Monday, February 24. There was a good entry of sheep on the day, with a good trade for all stock on offer, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

There was a good trade for cast ewes, with prices up compared to the previous week. In general, prices for these lots ranged between €70/head up to €145/head.

Ewes with one lamb at foot sold from €140/head up to €190/head. Whereas, ewes with two lambs at foot made from €240/head up to €295/head.

Similar to previous weeks, in-lamb ewes made from €130/head up to €170/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 30-37kg: €80-100/head;
  • 38-42kg: €100-115/head;
  • 42-46kg: €115-125/head;
  • 46-55kg: €125-137/head.

Dowra Mart

Over 1,200 sheep were on offer at Dowra Mart on Friday last, February 28. There was a steady trade all round, with factory-fit hoggets making up to €140/head, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

In general, the majority of butcher and factory-fit hoggets made from €120/head up to €139/head.

Forward store hoggets made from €100/head up to €120/head. However, there was a slight drop in the demand and prices for lighter mountain type hoggets, with these lots making from €60/head up to €90/head.

In-lamb ewes made from €130/head up to €160/head, with older in-lamb ewes selling from €80/head up to €120/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 56kg: €140/head;
  • 54kg: €139/head;
  • 51kg: €136/head;
  • 50kg: €135/head;
  • 49kg: €134/head;
  • 48kg: €130/head;
  • 47kg: €126/head.

Roscommon Mart

Roscommon Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Wednesday last, February 26.

There was a good entry of in-lamb ewes on offer, with prices ranging from €110/head up to €140/head, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

The top price on the day was €142/head for a pen of hoggets weighing 55.7kg.

Stag ewes made from €80/head up to €142.50/head. Ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €152/head.

Sample factory-fit hogget prices:

  • 55.7kg: €142/head;
  • 53.2kg: €138/head;
  • 54.3kg: €136/head;
  • 57.4kg: €135/head;
  • 51.9kg: €135/head;
  • 45.5kg: €122/head.

Tullow Mart

There was over 1,400 sheep on offer at Tullow Mart on Tuesday, February 25.

There was a steady trade across all the sheep classes, according to the mart manager, Eric Driver.

The heavier forward hoggets weighing 50kg sold from €136/head up to a top price of €145/head, with the majority of these lots making between €137/head and €141/head.

There was plenty of farmer interest for store hoggets. Hoggets weighing between 32kg and 35kg sold from €93/head up to €105/head, while hoggets weighing between 36kg and 40kg sold from €105/head up to a top price of €118/head.

Hoggets weighing upwards of 40kg sold from €116/head up to €130/head, depending on quality and cleanliness.

There was a lively trade for cast ewes, according to Driver, with heavy ewes making up to €152/head. Furthermore, store ewes weighing between 60kg up to 90kg sold from €90/head up to €135/head, with some well-fleshed ewes north of 100kg selling from €128/head up to €145/head.

In the brood ring, there were 180 ewes on offer, with the majority of these lots making from €165/head up to €205/head. A number of mature ewes made from €150/head to €180/head.

Ewes with one lamb at foot sold up to €198/head, while aged ewes with one lamb at foot made up to €150/head. Ewes with two lambs at foot sold up to €225/head.

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