An improved trade was seen for spring lambs at marts last week, as factory appetite for supplies remained strong – which led to a further strengthening of prices.
Prices for spring lambs had fallen back to a high of €158-165/head the week before after factories had pulled prices.
However, at the start of last week, a strengthening of prices for spring lambs was witnessed at sales, with prices hitting highs of €170-185/head and higher at some sales.
Lambs over 50kg generally sold above €170/head and made up to highs of €185-187/head.
45-49kg lambs, on average, made from €160-170/head – with prices hitting as high as €173-175/head at some marts.
Poorer-quality lambs of similar weight sold back as far as €150-155/head. 40-44kg lambs sold in general, from €140/head up to €155-60/head, with top-quality lots breaking the €160/head on occasion.
An improved trade was seen for heavy cull ewes at many marts last week. Prices for fleshed 90kg plus ewes reached highs of €170-180/head, with the general run of prices for those types ranging from €140/head up to €170/head.
Lighter ewes in the 80-89kg bracket sold from €110/head, up to €135-140/head.
The hogget trade at marts remains firm even though numbers are drying up. Factories are very much still in the mix for finished lots and this is being reflected in the trade.
The general run of prices for those finished hoggets at marts last week ranged from €145/head up to €170-172/head.
Ewes with lambs at foot
A good trade remains for ewes with lambs at foot across marts. Tight grass supplies on farms seem to be drawing out more ewes with lambs, say mart managers.
Ewes with lambs at foot have been ranging in prices from €130/unit up to €220-235/unit for ewes with single lambs at foot.
While ewes with twin lambs at foot have been selling from €220/unit up to €300-320/unit on average, over the past seven days.
A smaller entry of sheep was seen at Carnew Mart on Thursday last (May 13). Despite this, the mart’s manager, David Quinn, reported an excellent selling trade for all classes of sheep.
He said that prices were as strong, if not stronger than the week previous. A highlight of the sale, David added, was a special entry of ewe hoggets which sold to a high of €232/head for 45kg ewe hoggets.
Spring lambs sold strongly on the day and made up to €170/head.
Heavy cull ewes traded from €140/head up to €172/head, while lighter ewes made from €88/head up to €130/head.
Ewes with single lambs at foot sold from €150/unit up to €255/unit, while ewes with twin lambs at foot ranged in price from €230/unit up to €305/unit.
Sample spring lamb prices:
- 20 at 40kg sold for €150/head;
- 14 at 42kg sold for €160/head;
- Nine at 46kg sold for €144/head;
- 16 at 49kg sold for €170/head;
- 20 at 45kg sold for €166/head;
- 18 at 37kg sold for €136/head;
- 19 at 39kg sold for €150/head;
- Nine at 39kg sold for €151/head;
- 24 at 45kg sold for €168/head;
- 17 at 38kg sold for €148/head.
Sample hogget prices:
- 12 ewe hoggets at 45kg sold for €232/head;
- 12 ewe hoggets at 43kg sold for €216/head;
- 12 ewe hoggets at 44kg sold for €202/head;
- 13 hoggets at 45kg sold for €145/head;
- Nine hoggets at 45kg sold for €144/head;
- 12 hoggets at 48kg sold for €152/head.
Last Tuesday (May 11), Agriland made the trip to Ballymote Mart, to check in on the weekly sheep sale.
A lively trade was seen for a strong entry of spring lambs, with prices topping €175/head for 54kg.
Lambs over 50kg generally made from €170-175/head. 45-49kg lambs traded from €150/head up to €171/head, with many of those types selling above €160/head.
40-44kg lambs, in the main, made from €144/head up to €164/head.
Lighter store types, on average, sold from €97/head, up to €142/head for 39kg.
Cull ewes sold from €80/head up to €150/head for heavier types.
The few hoggets on offer sold from €140/head up to €166/head for finished types.
Ewes with lambs at foot made from €135/unit for aged ewes with single lambs up to €305/unit for two ewes with four lambs at foot.
Sample spring lamb prices:
- 16 at 45kg sold for €158/head;
- Eight at 48kg sold for €163/head;
- Five at 40kg sold for €144/head;
- 17 at 46kg sold for €166/head;
- Four at 48kg sold for €172/head;
- Two at 49kg sold for €170/head;
- 21 at 42kg sold for €152/head;
- Three at 47kg sold for €170/head.