Farm Ireland

Thursday 14 December 2017

Factory prices fall back but trade remains strong

Joe Healy

Prices for factory lambs were back slightly around the country with the majority of them selling for €40-50 over the weight. Good heavy butcher-type lambs were making in excess of €50 over the €/kg. Overall, the trade for stores remained reasonably strong.

The better store lambs sold for €65-85 with the lighter lots making from €50/hd upwards. Good-quality breeding stock are commanding lively interest with ewe hoggets, aged ewes and rams generally making up to €200, €180 and €650 respectively. Farmers need to ensure that they use the mart to sell their lambs unless they are suitably finished for the factory. Under-finished and overweight lambs will sell a lot better at the mart where farmers and butchers will be interested. You will not incur penalties on the plainer lambs while you will get paid for every kilo for the heavy lots.

At Fermoy mart yesterday the well-fleshed quality type lamb over 48kg was making €50-57 over with an occasional pen selling up to €62 over. The general run for the 40-48kg lambs was €40-50 over their weight.

Numbers were smaller at the Dowra Mart sheep sale on Saturday last with 2,500 sheep on offer. Trade continued very strong for the store lambs with the best quality lots selling from €70-92 and lighter pens making from €50-70 each. The best of the ewe lambs for breeding made from €100-135/hd. Ewe hoggets were a quieter trade and sold for €140-180 for the tops with plainer lots making from €110 -140.

Big numbers of sheep were on show at Maam Cross but prices were back on recent weeks. Broken mouth ewes suitable for breeding were being bought for €42-68. Store lambs were better value for buyers compared to the past few months selling for €35-64. Crossbred lambs made €1.90-2.15/kg or €52-95/hd.

In the breeding section the Blackface Mountain ewes were selling for €58-92 with the ewe hoggets moving at €127-158.

Baltinglass had their biggest sale of the year. Heavy lambs were a tad easier and sold from €92-102 with the 40-45kg lambs selling to a top price of €92.

Suffolk cross ewe lambs made €95-145 each. Cheviot ewe lambs were making up to €140. Stores sold to €85. Prices for Cheviot ewe hoggets ran from €160-200 while aged breeding ewes made €150-200. Some older ewes with good udders and suitable for another crop sold for €70-140. Rams for breeding ranged from €150-400. Next week's sale will include 100 Waterford Scotch horned ewes.

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Mountbellew mart had a large number of sheep on offer. Lambs were a slightly easier trade but there was still a good demand for quality lots of store, factory and ewe lambs. Ewe lambs made up to €120. Factory types sold for €45-51 over the €/kg with the stores selling for €60-78/hd. The cull ewes sold to a top price of €110. Good ewe hoggets were making €170-185 while lighter lots made €150-170. First crop breeding ewes sold up to €180 with the general run of aged breeders making €110-140. Rams made up to €430.

There were 3,000 sheep on offer at Enniscorthy mart where prices were reported as being back on previous weeks. Butcher and factory lambs made €40-50 over the weight in a price range of €90-102. Store lambs sold for €70-88 each or €42-50 over the €/kg. Ewe lambs ranged from €110-140. Heavy culls sold for €90-116 with lighter types selling for €50-75. Prices for ewe hoggets varied from €150-200. Charolais rams sold from €425-600/hd with Texel rams making €360-480 each. Suffolk Rams sold from €350-670.

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