Spring lambs continue to meet a difficult trade with prices back again

Both spring lambs and hoggets met with a difficult mart trade on Monday, following factory price cuts of 20c/kg.

Hoggets met with a tougher trade in Fermoy Mart on Monday, according to the Mart Manager Sean Leahy.

Leahy said that hogget prices dropped by between €3-5/head, as the quality of the lots on offer is starting to diminish and there is less demand from buyers for hoggets.

Butchers have moved away from hoggets and they are now focusing solely on spring lambs and this had an impact on the hogget trade.

Hoggets weighing 50kg made €115-130 each or €2.30-2.60/kg, while the heavier lots weighing 55kg sold from €2.27-2.45/kg, he said.

However, despite the fall in hogget prices, Leahy said that the spring lamb trade continues to remain good in the Cork venue.

“Factory buyers are unable to compete with butchers for spring lambs. It is mostly butchers are wholesalers from Cork city that are purchasing spring lambs,” he said.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 45kg – €139 or €3.09/kg
  • 38kg – €121 or €€3.18/kg
  • 40kg – €130 or €3.25/kg
  • 40kg – €139 or €3.48/kg
  • 45kg – €138 or €3.07/kg

Raphoe Mart

There was a very big entry of sheep on offer in Raphoe Mart on Monday, according to the Mart Manager Anne Harkin, but the prices paid for all lots were back on last week.

Harkin said that cast ewes dropped by €10-12/head, mainly due to an increase in the number of ewes on offer. Cast ewes sold from €80-130 each.

The Mart Manager also said that hoggets were a little easier compared to last week, with prices paid back by €2/kg, as factories dropped the quoted prices for these lots on Monday.

Spring lambs also met with a tougher trade in the Donegal venue, with prices continuing on the downward trend which was seen last week, with spring lambs slipping by a further €3/kg.

The best of the new season lambs in Raphoe Mart sold to a high of €137 for 49kg lambs an €134 for 47kg lambs.

Sample prices:
  • Spring lambs: 40-50kg – €120-137
  • Hoggets: €120-133.50
  • Cast ewes: €80-130

Kilkenny Mart

Spring lambs met with a tougher trade in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Monday, according to the Mart’s Auctioneer George Candler.

Candler said there was a bigger sale of sheep, but the spring lamb trade continued to remained tricky. The Auctioneer also said that hoggets were easier to sell compared to the spring lambs that were on offer.

Spring lambs sold from €2.50-2.90/kg or €112-129 each, while the hoggets traded from €2.20-2.55/kg or €135-137 each.

Sample spring lamb prices:
  • 49kg: €125 or €2.55/kg
  • 45kg: €129 or €2.87/kg
  • 43kg: €120 or €2.79/kg
  • 41kg: €112 or €2.73/kg

However, despite the difficult spring lamb trade, Candler said that cull ewes continued to meet a good solid trade, with lots selling from €70-135 each.