Sheep marts: Steady trade as large numbers hit the sale rings

Mart managers have reported a steady trade in recent days. Huge numbers were entered in various marts around the country.

This week, another improvement has been witnessed in the spring lamb trade and factory buyers have opted to increase quotes by 5-10c/kg, in an effort to entice farmers to market their animals.

Processors are currently offering 450-460c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses) for spring lambs.

Also Read: Spring lamb price improves as processors try to secure supplies

Carnew Mart

A ‘massive’ sale took place on Thursday (October 26) at Carnew Mart, Co. Wicklow, with 4,200 sheep going under the hammer. Joe O’Brien, the mart’s spokesperson, noted that there was a “steady trade all round.”

Prices mirrored last week’s prices, with some lots selling slighty better.

Lambs weighing over 35kg made €92-104/head, lighter lambs (under 35kg) sold for €65-87/head and ewe lambs traded at €82-114/head. Lots of cull ewes traded between €45 and €105/head.

O’Brien also touched on the prices achieved for breeding sheep. Prices of €100-150/head were achieved for older breeding ewes.

In addition, breeding rams made €100-400/head on the day.

Roscommon Mart

Wednesday’s (November 1) sale in Roscommon Mart was more about quality rather than quantity – a small entry of sheep was reported.

According to the mart’s manager, Maura Quigley, there were excellent ewe lambs on offer. A pen of good-quality ewe lambs weighing 59kg fetched €122.50/head. On the day, top-quality lambs made €106/head.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 53.3kg – €106/head or €1.98/kg;
  • 53.3kg – €105/head or €1.96/kg;
  • 52kg – €102/head or €1.96/kg;
  • 50.5kg – €105/head or €2.07/kg;
  • 50 kg – €105/head or €2.10/kg;
  • 48.4kg – €103/head or €2.12/kg.

Store lambs (36kg) traded for €70/head, while lambs weighing 42kg sold for €83/head. In addition, cast ewes sold for €48-118/head.

Sample ewe lamb prices:
  • 59kg – €122.50/head or €2.07/kg;
  • 52.5kg – €113/head or €2.15/kg;
  • 49.5kg – €121/head or €2.44/kg;
  • 47.5kg – €100/head or €2.10/kg;
  • 46.8 kg – €100/head or €2.13/kg;
  • 44.8kgs – €107/head or €2.38/kg.

Raphoe Mart

Monday’s (October 30) sheep sale in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal featured a good entry of sheep, according to the mart’s manager Anne Harkin.

Quality lambs, she added, met a steady trade and prices of €95-100/head were obtained for lambs weighing 47-52kg.

Lighter store lambs (30-34kg) traded at €60-70/head, lambs weighing 34-38kg sold for €70-80/head and forward stores (42-46kg) made €80-95/head.

In addition, a number of hogget ewes passed through the ring of the Donegal-based venue. For the most part, these lots sold for €100-150/head each. The cast ewes on offer traded at €50-100/head.

Mountbellew Mart

Last Saturday (October 28) saw a large number of sheep go under the hammer at Mountbellew Mart, Co. Galway.

Factory lambs were similar to last week, with a brisk trade reported for heavier lots of store lambs, while lighter stores were an easier trade. 10 quality ewe lambs weighing 51kg sold for €131/head on the day.

The Co. Galway venue also saw an increased number of buyers for store lambs. These lots ranged in price from €70 to €97/head.

Sample wether lamb prices:
  • 8 lambs: 49.4kg – €95/head;
  • 14 lambs: 41.1kg – €88/head;
  • 10 lambs: 49.1kg – €111/head;
  • 15 lambs: 41.5kg – €90/head.

Cast ewes met a similar trade to the previous week. A strong trade remained for heavier ewes with prices ranging from €65 to €100/head.

Sample ewe prices:
  • Hogget ewes – €140-181/head;
  • First-crop ewes – €122-156/head;
  • Second-crop ewes – €110-144/head;
  • Third-crop ewes – €90-118/head.

Breeding ewes and ewe hoggets met a brisk trade last Saturday. Hogget ewes achieved prices of up to €181/head.