Sheep marts: Spring lamb trade steadies after difficult two weeks

The spring lamb trade has shown some signs of steadying in the marts, with prices in most venues remaining on par with last week.

Spring lambs met with a difficult trade in the ring last week, as prices fell by €5-8/head in some venues.

However, despite the trade steadying in the sales ring, a number of the main sheep processors have moved to cut factory prices by 10-20c/kg this week on the back of difficult trading conditions in France and the UK.

Looking at returns from various sheep marts, spring lambs generally sold from €100-123/head in the ring.

Raphoe Mart

According to Anne Harkin, the Mart Manager of Raphoe Mart, spring lambs weighing 50kg sold to a top price of €118 in Monday’s sale.

She added that lighter lambs also sold well on the back of increased demand from buyers. These lambs weighing 30-40kg traded from €2.21-2.75/kg.

The Mart Manager also said there was a smaller entry of ewes and lambs on offer, but these lots met a good trade selling to a €258 for ewes with twin lambs.

She also said that cast ewe trade remained “lively”, with the best ewe on offer selling at €131.

Kilkenny Mart

There was a bigger sale of sheep on offer in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday, according to the Mart Auctioneer George Candler.

Candler said 655 sheep passed through the ring and the trade remained similar to last week, with quality spring lambs selling to a top price of €123.

Butcher lambs sold from €2.30-2.40/kg, while the lighter factory lambs made €95-105/head or €2.20-2.40/kg.

Cull ewe prices also remained on par with last week, trading from €60-125/head.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 53kg: €123 or €2.32/kg
  • 51kg: €120 or €2.35/kg
  • 50kg: €120 or €2.40/kg
  • 49kg: €115 or €2.35/kg
  • 46kg: €109 or €2.37/kg
  • 45kg: €104 or €2.31/kg
  • 44kg: €100 or €2.27/kg
  • 43kg: €102 or €2.37/kg

Mountbellew Mart

The was a larger number of sheep on offer in Mountbellew Mart on Saturday, according to the Mart Manager Marianne Higgns.

She said there was good demand for fleshy lambs, but prices were slightly easier than the week before.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 45.5kg: €105 or €2.31/kg
  • 46.5kg: €108 or €2.32/kg
  • 50kg: €108 or €2.16/kg
  • 48kg: €112.50 or €2.34/kg
  • 42kg: €100 or €2.38/kg
  • 40kg: €96 or €2.40/kg
  • 39kg: €93 or €2.38/kg

Higgins also said that quality ewe hoggets met with a strong trade and these lots sold from€100-156/head.

There was also a bigger number of cast ewes on offer compared to the week previous, she said and these lots made from €75-111 each.