Sheep marts: Spring lambs reach a top call of €165

After a slight blip last week, the spring lamb trade has strengthened somewhat over recent days and the top-priced lots have sold for up to €165/head.

Factory fit lambs have been in demand from both factory buyers and butchers and these purchasers were willing to pay prices of €3.00-3.20/kg to secure supplies.

The hogget trade has also bounced back somewhat at the ringside and these animals have generally traded for between €2.50/kg and €2.80/kg over recent days.

In addition, ewes with lambs at foot continue to meet strong demand and farmers have paid as high as €275 for young ewes accompanied by twin lambs.

Raphoe Mart

Another good entry of sheep was witnessed at Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, on Monday last and, according to the mart manager Anne Harkin, the trade was sharp for all of the stock on offer.

On the day, store hoggets sold for €50-100 over, factory lots made €77-108 over and butcher hoggets traded at €72-109 over. Spring lambs sold to a top price of €161/head and prices of €90-110 over were achieved.

Like previous weeks, dry ewes continued to met a strong trade and prices of €70-148 were recorded. In addition, ewes with single lambs at foot traded at €140-222 and those with twins sold for €200-275.

Kilkenny Mart

Monday trading in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, saw 530 sheep pass through the ring. Commenting on the trade, the mart’s auctioneer George Candler said there was a good, solid trade for spring lambs, hoggets and cull ewes, with a 100% clearance.

Spring lambs reached a top price of €154 in the Kilkenny-based venue, while, generally speaking, these lots traded for €3.00-3.18/kg or €125-154/head.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 51kg: €153 or €3.00/kg;
  • 44kg: €140 or €3.18/kg;
  • 43kg: €132 or €3.07/kg;
  • 42kg: €127 or €3.02/kg.

In addition, hoggets continued to meet a good trade; butcher types sold for €2.40-2.83/kg or €148-153 and factory lots made €2.50-2.83/kg or €115-140.

Sample hogget prices:
  • 60kg: €150 or €2.50/kg;
  • 59kg: €149 or €2.53/kg;
  • 56kg: €152 or €2.71/kg;
  • 48kg: €136 or €2.83/kg;
  • 46kg: €121 or €2.63/kg;
  • 45kg: €117 or €2.60/kg.

A number of cast ewes were also on offer and these lots sold for €65-149.

Maam Cross Mart

Sheep numbers and prices held at Maam Cross Mart’s weekly sale on Saturday last. Blackface and crossbred hoggets sold for an average price of €98, while a pen of six Blackface ewe hoggets sold for €118.

A number of ewes with lambs at foot were also on offer and these sold for an average price of €99. Topping this section of the sale at €150 was a Cheviot ewe with two ewe lambs at foot. Meanwhile, dry ewes sold for €60-91.

Mountbellew Mart

A similar number of sheep were entered at Mountbellew Mart on Saturday last. Hoggets were reported to have met a similar trade to the previous week, while increased activity was witnessed for quality lots of spring lambs. On the day, hoggets traded for €95-135 and spring lambs made €130-147.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 46kg: €136 or €2.96/kg;
  • 62.5kg: €145 or €2.32/kg;
  • 44.2kg: €135 or €3.05/kg;
  • 42kg: €130 or €3.10/kg;
  • 49kg: €147 or €3.00/kg.

A selection of cast ewes – which traded at €77-119 – and ewes with lambs at foot were on offer. The latter is said to have met a very brisk trade.

Sample ewe prices:
  • Four first-crop ewes with six lambs: €210;
  • Four first-crop ewes with eight lambs: €232;
  • One second-crop ewe with two lambs: €226;
  • Six third-crop ewes with six lambs: €168;
  • Three third-crop ewes with four lambs: €155.