Sheep marts: ‘Store hoggets up €15-20/head compared to this time last year’
Poor weather conditions across the country over the past week have failed to dampen the sheep trade, with mart managers reporting price increases all round – especially for hoggets.
Prices for butcher and factory-fit hoggets have rocketed up towards €140/head – which is a €5.00/head increase compared to last week.
Similarly, there has been a surge in the prices being offered for store hoggets, with prices of up to €120/head being achieved for hoggets weighing 38kg.
According to various mart managers, there are plenty of customers for cast ewes, with factories paying up to €3.00/kg for well-fleshed ewes.
The in-lamb ewe trade continues to hold firm, with prices as high as €190/head being achieved – which is on par with previous weeks.
However, big prices are being paid for ewes with lambs at foot, with farmers paying up to €200/head for ewes with one lamb at foot.
Speaking about the trade over the last few weeks, Eric Driver, who is the mart manager of Tullow Mart, said: “There has been a huge surge in the prices being paid for store hoggets over the past few weeks, with prices for these lots up between €15/head and €20/head compared to this time last year.
There continues to be a strong entry of sheep week-on-week, which is great to see, with plenty of competition between buyers looking to pinch good-quality lots from each other.
“There was a good demand for ewes with lambs at foot last week, with prices of up to €200/head being achieved for aged ewes with one lamb at foot.
“If the trade continues like this over the coming weeks, I would be optimistic that farmers will receive a good price for their spring lambs come April,” Driver concluded.
Baltinglass Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Saturday last, February 22. There was a large entry of forward store hoggets, with prices for these lots up €3.00-6.00/head, according to the mart manager, Tom Coleman.
Butcher hoggets made up to €140/head, with hoggets weighing between 50kg and 60kg making between €134/head and €140/head.
Factory-fit hoggets weighing between 44kg and 50kg made between €106/head and €133/head.
Forward store hoggets made from €97/head up to €150/head.
There was steady trade for cast ewes, with prices for these lots similar to the previous week. On the day, these lots made between €80/head and €130/head.
Ewes with lambs at foot made from €145/head up to €230/head.
Sample hogget prices:
- 12 hoggets weighing 57kg sold for €140/head;
- 12 hoggets weighing 55kg sold for €139/head;
- One hogget weighing 40kg sold for €126/head;
- Six hoggets weighing 45kg sold for €121/head;
- Two hoggets weighing 40kg sold for €120/head;
- 11 hoggets weighing 47kg sold for €120/head;
- Nine hoggets weighing 43kg sold for €114/head.
Raphoe Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Monday, February 17. There was a good demand for all classes of sheep, with nearly a full clearance on the day, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.
Cast ewes were a solid trade, with prices ranging from €70/head up to €139/head.
Ewes with one lamb at foot made between €150/head up to €192/head. Furthermore, ewes with two lambs at foot made between €250/head up to €280/head.
Forward store and factory-fit hoggets were a good trade, with a top price of €134/head achieved on the day for a pen of hoggets weighing 55kg.
Sample hogget prices:
- 35-37kg: €90-105/head;
- 38-42kg: €105-115/head;
- 43-46kg: €115-125/head;
- 47-55kg: €125-134/head.
2,742 sheep were on offer at Carnew Mart on Thursday last, February 20. There was a good trade for hoggets, with prices for these lots up €5.00-7.00/head on last week, according to the mart manager, David Quinn.
The top price on the day was achieved by a pen of ewe hoggets weighing 58kg that sold for €145/head.
Similar to the previous week, there was a lively trade for cast ewes, with prices for these lots making up to €143/head.
There was a large number of ewes with lambs at foot on offer, with a strong demand for these lots. Moreover, ewes with one lamb at foot made between €140/head up to €205/head, while ewes with two lambs at foot made between €210/head up to €255/head.
There was a number of in-lamb ewes on offer, with prices for lots ranging between €135/head and €170/head.
Sample hogget prices:
- 24 hoggets weighing 49kg sold for €138/head;
- 17 hoggets weighing 41kg sold for €121/head;
- 19 hoggets weighing 35kg sold for €102.50/head;
- 11 hoggets weighing 58kg sold for €145/head;
- 15 hoggets weighing 50kg sold for €141/head;
- 25 hoggets weighing 50kg sold for €141/head.
Dowra Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Friday last, February 21. There was a large entry of sheep on the day, with factory-fit hogget prices up €5.00/head compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.
The best of the hoggets made from €115/head up to a top price of €138/head. Furthermore, there was a strong entry of forward store hoggets, with prices for these lots ranging from €90/head up to €114/head.
Light hoggets made from €60/head up to €90/head. Heavy cull ewes made from €90/head up to a top price of €130/head, while store ewes sold from €50/head up to €90/head.
Tullow Mart held its weekly sheep sale on Tuesday, February 18. There was a strong entry of sheep on the day, with prices for hoggets up €4.00-5.00/head compared to the previous week, according to the mart manager, Eric Driver.
Hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg made between €138/head and €144/head. A top price of €148/head was achieved on the day for a pen of fleshed hoggets.
Furthermore, hoggets weighing between 33kg and 38kg made between €115/head and €122/head. Moreover, forward store hoggets weighing between 38kg and 42kg made up to €127/head.
There was a good demand for cast ewes, with a top price of €152/head achieved on the day in this class. According to Driver, there were plenty of customers for feeding ewes, weighing between 60kg and 90kg.
There was a solid trade for in-lamb ewes, with prices for these lots ranging between €165/head and €190/head. Similarly, single-bearing ewe hoggets were a good trade, with prices for these lots making up to €190/head.
Driver reported a very strong trade for ewes with lambs at foot, with a lot consisting of 24 ewes with 30 lambs at foot making €200/head.
In general, younger ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €230/head.