Spring lamb prices drop by €5-8/head in the sales ring

The spring lamb trade in marts has weakened considerably, with prices back by €5-8/head in the sales ring compared to last week.

Jonathan O’Sullivan, the Mart Manager of Cahir Mart said there were twice as many new season lambs on offer in the sheep sale on Wednesday compared to the sale a week earlier.

“We sold 600 spring lambs on Wednesday, up from 300 the week before,” he said.

The increase in spring lamb numbers lead to some reduction in demand, he said, as buyers were able to pick and chose the lots they wanted.

O’Sullivan added that spring lambs suitable for the butcher trade met with the toughest trade, as these lots made about €5/head less than the corresponding sale last week.

The majority of these lambs weighed in the region of 50kg and sold from €122-125/head or €2.44-2.50/kg.

However, O’Sullivan added that despite the factory price cut on Tuesday, factory agents remained keen to purchase lambs.

These buyers, he said, were willing to pay €110-120/head for 45-48kg lambs, which kept the trade on par with last week.

Kilkenny Mart

Spring lambs also met with a tougher trade in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill on Tuesday, the Mart Auctioneer George Candler has said.

According to Candler, the change of sale day from the usual Monday slot to Tuesday is likely to have impacted on the trade.

Candler said there was a small sale all around which resulted in a difficult trade for all lots, with most posting price falls from last week’s sale.

He added that spring lamb prices were back €5-8/head on Tuesday compared to the corresponding sale last week, with factory and butcher lambs trading at €95-115/head and €112-123/head respectively.

Sample spring lamb prices in Kilkenny Mart:
  • 53kg – €123 or €2.32/kg
  • 50kg – €120 or €2.40/kg
  • 49kg – €118 or €2.41/kg
  • 48kg – €115 or €2.40/kg
  • 47kg – €115 or €2.45/kg
  • 45kg – €110 or €2.44/kg
  • 44kg – €105 or €2.39/kg
  • 43kg – €100 or €2.33/kg

Raphoe Mart

Spring lamb numbers also increased in Raphoe Mart on Monday, according to the Mart Manager Anne Harkin.

However, unlike other venues, Harkin said that the trade continued to remain good with 50kg new season lambs trading at €120.

She also said that the lighter store lambs met with a very good trade, with 41kg lambs making just under €104, while 36kg lambs traded at €90.

The Mart Manager also said there was an excellent trade for ewes with lambs at foot, as there were plenty of buyers for these lots around the ring.

She said that ewes with twin lambs sold to a top price of €270, whiles ewes with single lambs sold to a high of €202.

There was a good trade for cast ewes, she said, with the best lot trading at €121.50.

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