Sheep marts: Spring lamb prices moving in the right direction once again

Mart managers have reported an improved trade for spring lambs over the past week, with prices up by at least €5/head.

Over the last two-to-three weeks, lamb prices had taken a knock; however, due to tight supplies for both lambs and hoggets, prices seem to be heading in the right direction once again.

Factory-fit lambs weighing 44-50kg are making anywhere from €125/head up to €143/head.

The number of factory and butcher-type hoggets on offer at marts is decreasing week-on-week; however, prices for these types are still topping out at around €133-135/head. In general, the majority are selling for €115-130/head.

There continues to be a solid trade for heavy ewes across marts, with prices for these types ranging from €125/head up to €145/head, with some lots making upwards of €150/head.

Again, a strong trade is being reported for ewes with lambs at foot. Prices for these lots are ranging from €140/head up to €280/head.

A small number of breeding hoggets were presented for sale across marts last week. Prices for these types are ranging from between €125/head up to €160/head.

Dowra Mart

Some 700 sheep were on offer at Dowra Mart on Friday last, May 15. There was a large entry of spring lambs on the day, according to the mart manager, Terry McGovern.

Spring lambs sold from €120/head up to €143/head. The hogget trade was similar to the previous week, with prices ranging from €115/head up to €135/head for factory-types. Ewe hoggets for breeding made up to €145/head on the day.

Heavy cull ewes made from €90/head up to a top price of €138/head. Ewes with lambs at foot sold from €120/head up to €220/head.

Sample spring lamb prices: 
  • Four lambs weighing 51.5kg sold for €143/head;
  • Three lambs weighing 48kg sold for €142/head;
  • Nine lambs weighing 49kg sold for €140/head;
  • Six lambs weighing 45kg sold for €137/head;
  • 14 lambs weighing 46kg sold for €136.50/head;
  • 16 lambs weighing 43.5kg sold for €135.50/head.

Sample hogget prices: 

  • 14 ewe hoggets weighing 48.5kg sold for €125.50/head;
  • 36 ewe hoggets weighing 54kg sold for €135/head;
  • Two ewe hoggets weighing 56kg sold for €145/head.

Carnew Mart

A large entry of 1,100 sheep were presented for sale at Carnew Mart on Thursday last, May 14.

According to the mart manager, David Quinn, there was an excellent trade on the day, with spring lamb prices improved by €5-7/head.

Spring lambs weighing over 45kg sold for €128-140/head. Lambs weighing between 40kg and 44kg sold from €115/head up to €135/head.

Moreover, lambs weighing between 36kg and 39kg made from €100/head up to €116/head.

Feeding ewes made from €80/head up to €110/head; whereas, heavy ewes sold from €125/head up to €142/head. Ewes with lambs at foot sold for €140-280/head.

Kilkenny Mart

Over 400 sheep were on offer at Kilkenny Mart on Monday, May 11. The trade was back on the previous week, with hogget numbers beginning to decline, according to the mart auctioneer, George Candler.

There was a stronger entry of spring lambs compared to the previous week; however, prices for these types were back €5/head, with the majority of these lots selling from €108-132/head.

Hogget prices were also back around €5/head, with prices for factory-types varying from €117/head up to €124/head.

There was a solid trade on the day for cast ewes, with prices for these lots ranging from €74/head up to €142.50/head.

Sample spring lamb prices: 

  • Eight lambs weighing 47kg sold for €129/head;
  • 30 lambs weighing 45kg sold for €132/head;
  • 12 lambs weighing 43kg sold for €125/head;
  • Eight lambs weighing 40kg sold for €110/head.

Sample hogget prices: 

  • Eight hoggets weighing 55kg sold for €124/head;
  • 12 hoggets weighing 52kg sold for €126/head;
  • Eight hoggets weighing 49kg sold for €119/head;
  • Seven hoggets weighing 48kg sold for €117/head.

Roscommon Mart

Just over 250 sheep were presented for sale at Roscommon Mart on Wednesday last, May 13.

There was an improved trade for spring lambs, with prices for these types up €5/head compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Maura Quigley.

Spring lambs weighing 42-50kg sold for €127/head up to €133/head.

Factory-fit hoggets made from €118/head up to €127/head, with lighter types making as much as €93/head.

Cast ewes made from €82/head up to €130/head. Ewes with one lamb at foot made up to €175/head, while ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €255/head.

Sample spring lamb prices:

  • 50.7kg: €133/head;
  • 49.6kg: €132.5/head;
  • 48kg: €132/head;
  • 51.3kg: €131/head;
  • 49kg: €130/head;
  • 45kg: €129/head.

Sample hogget prices: 

  • 61.7kg: €128/head;
  • 52.8kg: €124/head;
  • 50kg: €118/head;
  • 41.2kg: €93/head.