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Friday 18 August 2017

Surge in spring lamb prices: 'Sheep may not be as plentiful as people think'

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 19
Weight 47K
Quantity 8sheep
Price €130
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 19 Weight 47K Quantity 8sheep Price €130 Photo Brian Farrell
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

SOMETIMES an afterthought can turn out to be right on the money.

Last week New Ross auctioneer Jim Bush uttered what has turned out to a prophetic line, as he summed up the sheep trade saying: “Sheep may not be as plentiful as people think”. Seven days on how right he was.

At the start of last week factories tried to put a squeeze on prices knocking, in some instances, from 30-40c/kg off the price and pushing official quotes for spring lamb as low as €5.60/kg.

They were working on the theory that numbers of lamb were about to increase in their favour as they traditionally do at this time.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 15
Weight 43K
Quantity 25 sheep
Price €117
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 15 Weight 43K Quantity 25 sheep Price €117 Photo Brian Farrell

Also reckoning no doubt that with such a dramatic price fall signposted those farmers with sheep to sell would move sooner rather than later in the hope of avoiding any further price drops.

However that increased supply of sheep did not materialise, as the Wexford man had predicted and, like his county’s hurling team who upset the odds on Saturday as they dispatched Kilkenny, that shortage in sheep has upset the odds for the factories.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 15
Weight 43K
Quantity 25 sheep
Price €117
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 15 Weight 43K Quantity 25 sheep Price €117 Photo Brian Farrell

Yesterday morning spring lamb was going up the ramps of trucks and into trailers at €6.10/kg with John Brooks of ICSA predicting: “There could well be more in it yet.”

The hogget price has also moved forward despite their numbers dwindling with €5.20/kg reported.


Over the last month cull ewes have not moved from €2.60-2.70/kg but they were being bought yesterday at €2.90/kg.

Moving to factory quotes, we see an upswing across both spring lamb and hogget prices, while the cull ewe also got a gee up yesterday.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 10
Weight 44K
Quantity 10 Lambs
Price €120
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 10 Weight 44K Quantity 10 Lambs Price €120 Photo Brian Farrell

The biggest movers on the spring lamb prices yesterday were Kepak Athleague who had to rediscover 25c/kg of that 35c/kg they had managed to lose off their spring lamb quote.

They are now top of the price chart this week at €6.00/kg+5c/kg bonus.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 25
Weight 47K
Quantity 11
Price €129
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 25 Weight 47K Quantity 11 Price €129 Photo Brian Farrell

Kildare Chilling are second on that chart on a price of €5.90/kg+10c quality assurance, next up are Moyvalley on €5.90/kg and Dawn Ballyhaunis on €5.80/kg for spring lamb.

The two ICMs who were the major offenders when they dropped 40c/kg to €5.60+10QA last week also managed to find more money and move their quotes back up 20c/kg to €5.80+10c/kg bonus.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 25
Weight 47K
Quantity 11
Price €129
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 25 Weight 47K Quantity 11 Price €129 Photo Brian Farrell

Dawn Ballyhaunis are the major movers in the hogget trade this week as they lift their quote for hoggets by 20c/kg to €5.00/kg.

Among the cull ewes Kildare Chilling and Kepak are the top payers this week on €2.60/kg+10QA and €2.65/kg+5QA respectively, while the two ICM’s are on €2.50/kg.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 20
Weight 49K
Quantity six
Price €130
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 20 Weight 49K Quantity six Price €130 Photo Brian Farrell

Marts Roundup

1 NEW ROSS

With Kilkenny beaten, all that was left for Jim Bush yesterday morning to declare was that both Wexford hurling and the sheep trade are “both in rude good health”. The hurling aside, 48kg+ spring lamb yesterday made from €125-132/hd, with the lighter factory types from 39-44kgs making from €110-125/hd. Cast ewes hit a top of €137/hd, as Jim quipped: “You wouldn’t get a bid for them a month ago.” Ewe hoggets were not “overly plentiful” resulting in prices improving to €128-154/hd.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 20
Weight 49K
Quantity six
Price €130
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 20 Weight 49K Quantity six Price €130 Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Keeping an eye on the auctioneer
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Keeping an eye on the auctioneer Photo Brian Farrell

2 CARNEW

There were smaller numbers and prices for spring lamb improved by €5-7/hd. This improvement saw 46-50kg springs selling from €120-125/hd, 40-45kgs made from €108-122/hd, with 33-35kgs making from €80-90/hd. Hoggets over 50kgs made from €115-120/hd, with 45-49kgs making from €109-119/hd. Demand for ewe hoggets was strong as farmers moved to replace or increase numbers of breeding stock at prices from €125-145/hd. Cull ewes were up about €5/hd at €65-130/hd.

3 KILKENNY

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
Lot 6
Weight 47K
Quantity 4
Price €127
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart Lot 6 Weight 47K Quantity 4 Price €127 Photo Brian Farrell

The trade yesterday saw a good yard of lambs sell fast. Butchers lambs from 48-53kgs sold from €123-135/hd, with factory lambs from 43-47kgs coming in at €110-125/hd. The trade for store lambs saw prices extend from €97/hd for 37kgs up to €11/hd for 42kgs. Cast ewes made from €60-124/hd.

4 FERMOY

The trade yesterday was reported as “very good” as sheep prices moved very positively. Butchers lambs from 48-57kgs sold from €117-134/hd, while store lambs in the 42-46kg range made from €71-117/hd. Hoggets from 60-72kgs made from€85-121/hd, with cast ewes selling from 470-120/hd. Ewes with single lambs at foot made from €125-158/hd.

8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart
FILER
Photo Brian Farrell
8/6/2017. Ballymote Sheep Mart FILER Photo Brian Farrell

5 BALLINROBE

Second crop ewes with twins sold from €185-260/hd in a sale where overall numbers were similar to the previous week. Heavier lamb suitable for the butcher trade made from €100-131/hd with cull ewes selling from €99-123/hd.

6 ROSCREA

Numbers were smaller than other weeks with manager Michael Harty commenting that the wet conditions over the last two weeks has slowed thrive, “lambs needs the sun on their backs to keep coming”. As it was, those spring lamb present sold to a top of €125/hd while the top of the cull ewe market was from €95-100/hd with €70/hd about the average.


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