Sheep trade: Factories aim to stop positive momentum

While prices have been on the rise in recent weeks, factories are attempting to slow this positive momentum. No quotes were available for today, Tuesday. However, there are reports of up to €5.70/kg for large numbers.

However, there is a large variation in plants and farmers are encouraged to shop around when it comes to marketing their stock, with regular suppliers of lambs to market in the best position to secure the higher prices.

In the meantime, the IFA has reported prices from €5.50/kg up to as high as €5.70/kg. This is 20-25c/kg above the price at the same time last year.

Sean Dennehy – IFA sheep chairman – stated that moves by some plants to lower quotes and stall the strong rise in prices was meeting strong resistance from feeders.

Throughput significantly lower than 2018

35,414 head of sheep were slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved slaughtering plants in the week ending February 3.

This is down by 7,607 head on the same week last year.
Data source: DAFM

Sheep marts

Raphoe Mart

A strong trade was reported at Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal yesterday (February 11).

Sample lamb prices:
  • 30-35kg – €80-90;
  • 35-40kg – €90-105;
  • 40-45kg – €105-118;
  • 45-50kg – €118-128;
  • 50-57kg – €125-134.

Fat ewes made €70-130/head, while prices for ewes with lambs at foot are detailed below.

Sample prices:
  • Ewes with one lamb – €150-205;
  • Ewes with two lambs – €200-310.

Carnew Mart

A sale of 3,126 sheep were on sale last Thursday (February 7). Trade was strong and heavy hoggets made a top price of €134/head, while two and three year old in-lamb ewes were selling for €190/head.

Sample lambs prices:
  • Over 50kg – €126-135;
  • 40-44kg – €102-117;
  • 45-49kg – €116-128.

In-lamb ewes sold for between €140 and €197. Ewes with a single lamb at foot ranged in price from €190 to €242, while ewes with twins at foot sold at prices from €190 to €242.

Kilkenny Mart

Numbers were low in Kilkenny Mart last week. Butcher lambs hit a high of €133/head. Lambs at a weight of approximately 40kg ranged in price from €103 to €107, while 30kg lambs made €80/head on average.