Sheep marts: Spring lambs meet a mixed trade

There has been some uplift in the heavy lamb trade at marts in recent days, as price increases of €3-7/head have been recorded in some locations. In addition, good demand continued for the store lambs offered for sale.

However, factory lambs prices have also eased in some venues. This comes despite factory quotes improving by 5-15c/kg earlier this week.

Kilkenny Mart

There was a sharp trade for lambs in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday and heavy lamb prices were up by €3-7/head on the previous week.

Store lambs were more plentiful, according to mart auctioneer George Candler, and cull ewes met a firm trade with a top price of €130 being achieved on the day.

Butcher lambs made €2.12-2.50/kg or €115-138/head in the Co. Kilkenny venue and a pen of 20 lambs weighing 51kg sold at €2.49/kg or €127/head.

Factory lambs traded at €2.30-2.45/kg or €98-110/head, down slightly on last week’s sale in Cillin Hill.

Store lamb prices:
  • Eight lambs: 38kg – €82;
  • 14 lambs: 36kg – €82;
  • 13 lambs: 35kg – €81;
  • 11 lambs: 33kg – €73.

Tullow Mart

There was a full clearance at Tuesday’s sale in Tullow Mart, Co. Carlow. Trade for heavy lambs was a little easier than the week previous, with prices for these lots lambs slipping by €1-2/head.

Lambs weighing 45kg+ made €115-125/head, while a couple of pens hit the €130 mark. Well-fleshed lambs (40kg+) traded at €98-110/head on the day.

There was a very lively trade for the store lambs, according to the mart manager Eric Driver. Lambs weighing between 37-38kg and 41-42kg traded at €85-96, while lighter stores weighing 25kg sold at a base of €68.

Cast ewes saw an improved trade, Driver said. Lots sold for €18-20 over, with fleshed ewes making up to €135/head.

Hogget ewes, suitable for breeding, traded at €165-185/head on the day and some lots hoggets pushed towards the €202 mark.

Mountbellew Mart

There was a very large entry of sheep at last Saturday’s sale in Mountbellew Mart. A total of 1,200 sheep were on offer on the day.

Factory lambs met with a stronger trade compared to the previous week’s sale, while demand continued for store lambs.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 26 lambs: 36kg – €89;
  • 10 lambs: 36.5kg – €88;
  • 11 lambs: 40.6kg – €95;
  • Nine lambs: 41kg – €100;
  • 10 lambs: 43.5kg – €107;
  • Nine lambs: 43.8kg – €110;
  • 10 lambs: 45.2kg – €114;
  • 12 lambs: 46kg – €112.

A smaller number of ewes hoggets were also on offer and prices of €125-148/head were achieved for these lots on the day.

Similar to last week, cast ewes met a strong trade and traded at €70-125/head.

80 first-crop, breeding ewes, all from the one owner, went under the hammer on the day. These lots sold for €130-161/head.

Ewes with lambs at foot:
  • One second-crop with a single lamb at foot – €160;
  • Two first-crop ewes with single lambs at foot – €175;
  • One first-crop ewe with twin lambs at foot – €219.

Raphoe Mart

Trade was reportedly excellent at last Monday’s sale in Raphoe Mart. Factory agents, farmers and butchers were all very anxious to purchase stock, according to mart manager Anne Harkin, and a lively trade resulted in a full clearance.

Factory lambs weighing 43-48kg traded at €56-74 over. A number of store lambs were also on offer and these lots traded at €2.13-2.59/kg, while butcher lambs weighing 48kg+ sold for €55-96 over.

Prices for dry ewes sat at €86-117/head, while ewes with two lambs at foot made €166-182/head.