Sheep marts: Poor weather conditions affect the number of sheep on offer at marts

Poor weather conditions across the country last week resulted in small numbers of sheep on offer at marts.

This, in turn, had a slight knock-on effect on the trade. In most cases, prices were generally on par with the previous week. However, hoggets prices were down €2.00-3.00/head in some marts.

However, despite the poor weather conditions, mart managers reported a lively trade for all classes of sheep.

Butcher and factory-fit hoggets made up to €130/head, with the exception of some lots, which made up to €134/head. In general, prices for these lots ranged from between €110/head and €128/head.

With factory prices on the rise for both hoggets and cast ewes, farmers and factory agents continue to battle it out for good-quality lots.

Furthermore, there continues to be a wide range in prices for cast ewes, with the majority of these lots making between €100/head and €140/head. Meanwhile, feeding ewes are making between €60/head and €95/head.

There was a smaller number of ewes with lambs at foot on offer across the country last week.

However, this only helped to improve the trade, with the majority of these lots making between €140/head and €270/head, depending on the quality and the number of lambs at foot.

Raphoe Mart

There was a strong entry of sheep on offer at Raphoe Mart on Monday, February 10. There was a good demand for all classes of sheep, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

There was a good trade for in-lamb ewes, with prices ranging from €100/head up to €170/head.

Ewes with one lamb at foot sold from between €150/head up to €180/head. Moreover, ewes with two lambs at foot made from €220/head up to €270/head.

Cast ewes were a solid trade, with prices ranging from €60/head for feeding ewes, up to €125/head for heavy ewes.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 32-36kg: €85-90/head;
  • 37-41kg: €95-109/head;
  • 41-47kg: €110-120/head;
  • 48-55kg: €121-130/head.

Roscommon Mart

Roscommon Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Wednesday last, February 12. There was a smaller number of sheep on offer compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

Hoggets fetched from €106/head up to a top price of €130/head. Stag ewe prices ranged from €95/head up to €110/head.

There was a lively trade for in-lamb ewes, with prices ranging from €158/head up to €196/head.

There was a small number of ewes with lambs at foot on offer. Ewes with one lamb at foot made up to €142/head.

There was a good trade for cast ewes, with prices ranging from €95/head up to €110/head.

Sample factory-fit hogget prices:
  • 62kg: €130/head;
  • 48.2kg: €122/head;
  • 45kg: €120/head;
  • 45.8kg: €110/head.

Dowra Mart

Dowra Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Friday last, February 14.

There was a large entry of sheep, especially hoggets, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

There was an improved trade compared to the previous week, with factory-fit hoggets making up to €132/head.

In general, prices for hoggets ranged from €110/head up to €132/head. Meanwhile, there was a good demand for forward store hoggets, with prices for these lots ranging from €90/head up to €110/head.

Nine in-lamb hoggets sold for €110/head. Furthermore, five ewes with one lamb at foot sold for €153/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 13 Suffolk cross hoggets weighing 52kg sold for €132/head;
  • 14 Suffolk cross hoggets weighing 49kg sold for €128.50/head;
  • 11 Suffolk cross hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €127/head;
  • 23 Suffolk cross hoggets weighing 46kg sold for €125/head;
  • 12 hoggets weighing 49kg sold for €127/head.

Tullow Mart

There was a small entry of sheep at Tullow Mart on Tuesday, February 11. This was due to poor weather conditions.

However, in light of this, there was a good trade for factory-fit and butcher hoggets, with prices up €2.00-3.00/head compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Eric Driver.

Hoggets weighing over 50kg sold from €127/head up to a top price of €135/head. In general, depending on the flesh cover and quality, the majority of these lots made from €132/head up to €134/head.

Meanwhile, store hogget prices ranged from €90/head up to €110/head, with the majority of these lots weighing between 35kg and 44kg.

Fleshed hoggets weighing between 45kg and 50kg sold from €118/head up to €130/head.

Cast ewes were a lively trade, according to Driver, with heavy ewes making up to €145/head.

In the brood ring, a number of in-lamb ewes – carrying approximately 1.7 lambs – sold from €155/head up to €180/head. Furthermore, ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €230/head. In general, ewes with one and two lambs at foot made from €170/head up to €195/head.

Kilkenny Mart

Kilkenny Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Tuesday, February 11. There was a very small number of sheep on offer, due to the poor weather conditions, according to the mart manager, George Chandler.

Despite the poor weather, there was a good trade for hoggets, with prices for these lots making up to €130/head. In general, the majority of these lots made from between €105/head up to €133/head.

Furthermore, similar to previous weeks, there were plenty of buyers for cull ewes, with a top price of €140/head on the day in this section.

Sample butcher hogget prices: 

  • 10 hoggets weighing 60kg sold for €131/head;
  • 16 hoggets weighing 53kg sold for €133/head;
  • Eight hoggets weighing 52kg sold for €130/head;
  • 10 hoggets weighing 50kg sold for €129/head.

Sample factory-fit hogget prices:

  • 10 hoggets weighing 49kg sold for €128/head;
  • Eight hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €116/head;
  • Seven hoggets weighing 46kg sold for €130/head;
  • Five hoggets weighing 44kg sold for €110/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, February 15.

There was a smaller number of sheep on offer – due to Storm Dennis. However, despite this, there was a complete clearance on the day, with prices up compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.

Heavy hoggets were a good trade, with a top price of €129/head achieved on the day. Furthermore, hoggets weighing between 45kg and 50kg made from €107/head up to €121/head.

There was a mixed trade for store hoggets, with prices ranging from €45/head for lighter lots up to €100/head for more forward types.

Similar to previous weeks, there was a solid trade for cast ewes, with prices ranging from €85/head up to €185/head.

The number of ewes and lambs at foot on offer is gradually increasing, with these lots making between €160/head and €220/head.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 24 hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €129/head;
  • Two hoggets weighing 52kg sold for €127/head;
  • 17 hoggets weighing 46kg sold for €119/head;
  • Four hoggets weighing 47kg sold for €117/head;
  • 15 hoggets weighing 41kg sold for €107/head.

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