Sheep marts: Prices remain steady for lambs; demand for cast ewes rises

Mart managers across the country are reporting a strong trade for cast ewes, with prices for these lots up to €140/head.

Feeding ewes around the 60kg mark are making from €90/head up to €95/head, with heavy ewe prices ranging from €105/head up to €140/head.

Similarly, there has been strong trade for store lambs weighing over 40kg, with prices for these lots ranging from €94/head up to €98/head.

A number of marts have reported strong farmer interest in forward store lambs.

Butcher and factory-fit lamb prices remain steady, with the majority of these lots selling from €106/head up to €123/head.

Since the turn of the year, a small number of in-lamb ewes have appeared in marts across the country. The majority of these lots are selling from €135/head up to €175/head.

Over the coming weeks, the number of in-lamb ewes is likely to increase as we edge closer to the mid-season lambing period.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, January 11.

There was a large entry of sheep, with a similar trade to last week, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.

Furthermore, butcher and store lambs were in strong demand. In the cast ewe ring, prices for these lots ranged from €70/head up to €125/head.

Breeding ewes were a good trade, with prices for these lots making up to €160/head.

Sample prices:

  • 10 lambs weighing 47kg sold for €120/head;
  • Four lambs weighing 45kg sold for €106/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 46kg sold for €106/head;
  • 10 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €103/head;
  • 14 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €103/head;
  • 17 lambs weighing 39kg sold for €98/head.

Carnew Mart

A strong entry of 1,563 sheep were on offer at Carnew Mart on Thursday last, January 9. There was an excellent trade, with prices up €3.00-5.00/head on last week, according to the mart manager, David Quinn.

On the day, a top price of €134/head was achieved for a pen of hoggets weighing 65kg.

There was a strong trade for cull ewes and rams, with a top price of €135/head achieved for a pen of ewes. In general, prices for these lots ranged from €70/head for lighter types up to €135/head for heavier types.

Sample prices:

  • Nine ram lambs weighing 64.7kg sold for €134/head;
  • Nine ram lambs weighing 64kg sold for €122/head;
  • 20 ewe lambs weighing 42kg sold for €104/head;
  • 22 lambs weighing 39kg sold for €99/head;
  • 17 lambs weighing 40kg sold for €100/head.

Roscommon Mart

There was a small entry of sheep offer at Roscommon Mart on Wednesday, January 8.

There was a strong demand for hoggets and cast ewes, with a full clearance for these lots, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

Moreover, two pens of hoggets weighing 49kg and 53kg sold for €120/head. In the cast ewe section, prices for these lots ranged from €95/head up to €113/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 49kg: €120/head;
  • 53kg: €120/head;
  • 51.2kg: €119.50/head;
  • 50 kg: €117/head;
  • 45.8kg: €108/head.

Dowra Mart

Dowra Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, January 11. There were over 970 sheep on offer, with a strong demand for all classes of sheep, especially for store lambs, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

There was a steady trade for factory-fit lambs, with prices for these lots ranging from €107/head up to €123/head.

The top price on the day was €124/head for a pen of lambs weighing 56kg.

Sample prices for factory-fit and store lambs:

  • 22 lambs weighing 53kg sold for €123/head;
  • 17 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €122/head;
  • 16 lambs weighing 51kg sold for €121.50/head;
  • 19 lambs weighing 46.5kg sold for €115/head;
  • 28 lambs weighing 39.5kg sold for €105.50/head;
  • Eight lambs weighing 39kg sold for €101.50/head.

Tullow Mart

Over 1,400 sheep were on offer at Tullow Mart, on Tuesday last, January 7. There was an improved trade for all classes of sheep, with prices up by €6.00-7.00/head on what they were before Christmas, according to the mart manager, Eric Driver.

Heavy lambs weighing 50kg sold from €117/head up to a top price of €125/head, with the majority of these lots making between €118/head and €122/head.

Fleshed lambs weighing between 46kg and 50kg sold from €112/head up to €116/head – depending on quality.

In the store lamb section, prices for these lots ranged from €78/head up to €85/head, for lambs weighing between 27kg and 35kg. Furthermore, lambs weighing from 30kg up to 44kg sold from €88/head up to €102/head.

There was a lively trade for cast ewes, with prices ranging from €95/head up to €138/head.

In the brood section, full-mouth ewes scanned with twins that are due to lamb at the end of the month sold up to a top price of €175/head, with full and broken-mouth ewes scanned with one lamb making from €120/head up to €140/head.

Moreover, some younger ewes carrying a lamb at foot, sold from €135/head up to €160/head.

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