Sheep marts: Trade remains firm despite June factory cuts

The sheep mart trade has remained firm as we approach the end of June, despite factory cuts of up to 30c/kg on spring lamb quotes last week and again this week.

Mart managers have reported a steady trade in recent days, with little evidence of the factory price cuts filtering down to the ringside just yet.

Raphoe mart

There was quite a large entry of sheep at last Monday’s sale in Raphoe Mart, according to mart manager Anne Harkin. Trade was reportedly excellent for all sheep, with lambs selling to a high of €124 for 53kg.

Other prices ranged from:
  • 30-34kg: €70-80;
  • 34-38kg: €80-94;
  • 40-43kg: €95-108;
  • 43-46kg: €108-114;
  • 47-55kg: €114-124.

Harkin said that ewes with single lambs sold to a top price of €180, while ewes with twins made up to €275.

The range for the previous week’s sale in the Co. Donegal venue was €120-210 for ewes with singles and €150-220 for ewes with twin lambs at foot. Fat ewes sold for €60-130/head at Monday’s sale.

Kilkenny mart

There was a slightly bigger sale of lambs in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Monday, with those weighing in excess of 46kg in demand.

According to mart auctioneer George Candler, the expected price drop did not materialise and cull ewes peaked at €126/head.

Butcher lambs made €2.40-2.60/kg or €70-80 over in the Co. Kilkenny venue and a pen of 20 lambs weighing 52kg made €2.40/kg or €125/head. Butcher lambs were up €1-3/head on the previous week, he added.

Factory lambs traded at €2.35-2.50/kg or €60-70 over. This was down slightly on the previous week in Kilkenny Mart. In addition, store lambs made €2.05-2.40/kg or €36-55 over.

Mountbellew mart

There were smaller numbers on offer at last Saturday’s sale in Mountbellew Mart. Factory lambs met with an easier trade compared to the previous week’s sale. The store lamb trade was described as strong due to the large number of buyers in attendance.

Lamb prices:
  • Eight lambs: 48.2kg – €121;
  • 20 lambs: 34kg – €84;
  • Five lambs: 39.1kg – €96;
  • 12 lambs: 36.5kg – €87;
  • Four lambs: 43kg – €100;
  • 11 lambs: 39kg – €97;
  • 22 lambs: 49.8kg – €113;
  • One lamb: 45kg – €103.

A small number of ewe hoggets went under the hammer and prices of €110-150/head were achieved on the day.

Like last week, cast ewes continued to meet a brisk trade – especially for the heavier lots – and these lots sold for €75-122/head.

Ewes with lambs at foot:
  • One first-crop ewe with strong twin lambs at foot – €283;
  • Two first-crop ewes with single lambs at foot – €158;
  • One second-crop ewe with two strong lambs at foot – €260;
  • One third-crop ewe with a single lamb at foot – €142.