Ennis Mart’s manager, Martin McNamara, reported an easing of spring lamb and hogget prices at Monday’s sale (April 26).

In line with cuts in factory prices, Martin said it was a tough day for farmers selling spring lambs and hoggets, although he noted a solid firm trade for cull ewes.

Speaking to Agriland after the conclusion of the sale, Martin explained: “We had a strong entry of sheep on Monday – 350 in fact. Numbers were up across all categories of sheep.

“Spring lambs and hoggets were met with an easier [trade]. I’d say spring lambs were back by as much as €10/head, while hoggets were back €7-8/head.

“Factory prices for spring lambs and hoggets were back on Monday from what I heard, and that could be seen in the trade here at Ennis.

“Looking at the trade in more detail, spring lambs still sold up to a very good price of €175/head for four at 49.5kg. We also saw some very good prices for lighter spring lambs.

Sample spring lamb prices:

  • Four at 49.5kg sold for €175/head or €3.53/kg;
  • 11 at 44kg sold for €154/head or €3.50/kg;
  • Six at 42kg sold for €151/head or €3.59/kg;
  • Eight at 46kg sold for €167/head or €3.63/kg;
  • Six at 44.5kg sold for €157/head or €3.53/kg;
  • Eight at 45kg sold for €162/head or €3.60/kg.

“Hogget numbers in fact were up today and in comparison to the spring lambs, they held a slightly more firmer trade.

“The tops of the hoggets was €174/head for nine at 66kg. Although prices, you could say for those lesser-quality fleshed hoggets, started around the €140/kg mark and worked upwards.

“Although spring lamb and hogget prices were back – and back a good bit – overall, we still saw a good trade for both the spring lambs and hoggets.”

Sample hogget prices:

  • 10 at 53kg sold for €164/head or €3.06/kg;
  • Eight at 47.5kg sold for €152/head or €3.20/kg;
  • Nine at 66kg sold for €174//head or €2.64/kg;
  • Two at 49.5kg sold for €153/head or €3.09/kg;
  • Six at 47kg sold for €139/head or €2.96/kg.

Ewe trade

Although an easier trade was seen for spring lambs and hoggets, Martin said that the standout trade on the day was for cull ewes.

He added: “Cull ewes held the trade exceptionally well. They were back a bit last week, but held firm this week and sold up to a high of €166/head.

“You could say for those heavier ewes, that prices generally ranged from €120/head up to €140/head, with the real top-quality ewes making from €140/head up to €160/head.”

Martin added that ewes with lambs at foot topped €310/head (for a ewe with two lambs at foot).