Variation was seen in the size of many recent sales across the country, but good clearances and prices were reported from several sheep marts, keen to secure heavy, finished lambs.

Marts are currently the place that are attracting sheep farmers to bring their livestock for sale, as according to the newly appointed chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Sheep Committee, Adrian Gallagher, there are fewer lambs being sent to factories.

Gallagher said: “Live shippers are always looking for finished lambs and these are competing with agents and factories at the marts for these lambs, so the factories are getting less lambs.”

Dowra Mart

In a sheep sale held in Dowra Mart, Co. Cavan on Friday, November 17, there was a bigger sale of sheep seen with over 1,700 sheep sold.

Sample prices for fat lambs:

  • The top price for a lamb was a 52kg ram lamb that sold for €160;
  • Six lambs weighing 53kg sold for €155.50/head;
  • Two weighing 48kg each sold for €154.50/head;
  • 30 lambs weighing 50.5kg fetched a price of €154.50/ head;
  • 41 weighing 53kg sold for €154/head;
  • 42 weighing 48kg sold for €150/head;
  • 20 lambs weighing 49kg sold for €147/head;
  • 12 that weighed 44kg sold for €134/head.

Sample prices for forward store lambs

  • Ten weighing 42.5kg sold for €128.50/head;
  • 15 weighing 41kg sold for €123.50/head;
  • 16 weighing 39.5kg sold for €120/head;
  • 29 weighing 39kg sold for €117.50/head;
  • Seven weighing 34kg sold for €108/head.

Farmers eying up additions to their flock kept a close eye on the trade for in-lamb ewes at Dowra Mart.

in-lamb ewes
Ten in-lamb ewes at €175/head Source: Dowra Mart

Nine ewes carrying 15 lambs that are due to lamb at the end of January sold for €175 each.

Ten ewes carrying 17 lambs due to lamb at the end of January sold for €170 each.

Mountbellew Mart

In what was deemed a “smaller sale”, prices paid for factory lambs at Mountbellew Mart, Co. Galway on Saturday, November 18, were similar in price to the previous week.

Lamb prices

  • Seven ewe lambs weighing 54.2kg sold for €168/head;
  • 15 wither lambs that weighed 38kg fetched a price of €108/head;
  • One ram lamb weighing 48kg sold for €142;
  • Three ewe lambs that weighed 34.7kg, €97/head;
  • 12 ewe lambs weighing 46kg sold for €132/head;
  • Ten wither lambs at 56kg sold for €160/head.

There was a small turnout of breeding sheep where hoggets made from €140 to €150, and first crop ewes ranged in price from €130 to €170.

Raphoe Mart

A recent sheep sale held at Raphoe Mart in Co. Donegal on Monday, November 20, saw an improved trade around the ring and online for their entry of sheep.

Lambs sold at:

  • €80 to €100 for 28-35kgs;
  • €100 to €120 for 35-40kgs;
  • €120 to €140 for 41-46kgs;
  • €140 to €156 for 47-56kgs.

Fat ewes sold from €80/head to €184/head.

Kenmare Mart

In what was a “slightly smaller sale” with “slightly better prices”, Kenmare Mart manager, Dan McCarthy, provided the prices from a sheep sale held on November 20.

A 49kg lamb made €140, while lighter lambs weighing between 40-43kg made between €105-€107.

Source: Kenmare Co-Op Mart

Common in other sheep marts, McCarthy reported a “a cooler trade for lighter lambs” at the sale, with a 35kg lamb making €72, a 27kg lamb making €60, and a 38.6kg ram lamb selling for €86.

McCarthy reported a “tough enough trade” for ewes at the sale, with a 51kg ewe making €48, and a 56kg ewe selling for €56.

Baltinglass Mart

In a sheep sale on Saturday, November 18, there was a fast-paced trade seen at Baltinglass Mart, Co. Wicklow.

Prices for sheep were reported as being up by €5/head, with a full clearance of all stock seen.

Lambs weighing between 45kg and 50kg made €139-€152/head, while those that weighed 40-45kg made from €110-€139/head.

Slightly lighter lambs weighing between 35-40kg made from €94-€110, while cast ewes made up to €130/head at the sale.