Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Returns to lift again as stock levels set to tighten

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

As numbers tighten, mart managers predict sheep prices will lift in the coming weeks.

There has already been a slight improvement in prices for store lambs and ewes, which were up a few euro per head on last week.

Baltinglass mart reported a similar trade to the previous week last Saturday.

Lambs from 42-50kg made €95-106/hd while 30-40kg lambs sold for €66.50-80/hd. Fat and store ewes made €54-98/hd, ewes with singles at foot made up to €108/hd while ewes with doubles made up to €135/hd. Ewes scanned in lamb with doubles sold for up to €100/hd.

Numbers were tightening at Mountbellew mart where there was a smaller number of sheep on offer compared to last week. The hogget trade was unchanged but there was a firmer trade for cull ewes, in-lamb ewes and ewes with lambs at foot.

Hoggets made from €88-115/hd for the fleshier lambs and cull ewes sold for €55-120/hd, with trade particularly firm for the heavier lots.

Lambs with singles at foot made up to €151/hd, ewes with doubles made up to €160/hd and in-lamb ewes scanned with twins due in April made up to €145/hd.

Demand continued strong for ewes with lambs at foot at Dowra mart on Saturday where doubles made up to €190/hd. Ewes with singles at food sold up to €128/hd. Store hoggets made €55-80/hd, the heavier lots made up to €110/hd and cull ewes achieved €40-90/hd.

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Headford mart's sheep sale moves from its Thursday slot to Saturday beginning on March 27. This week's mart reported a slight improvement for store lambs.

Hoggets made €90-115/hd, ewe hoggets sold for €95-110/hd, store lambs made €60-80/hd and ewes with lambs at foot achieved €130-175/hd.

At Carnew mart on the same day there was already a noticeable drop in numbers, though no big change in the lamb trade apart from a slight improvement of €2-3/hd for cull ewes and store lambs.

"Numbers are going to tighten pretty dramatically in the next week and I'd be surprised if prices don't rise too," said mart boss David Quinn.

Butcher and factory hoggets made €100-116/hd, store lambs sold for €70-98/hd and heavy cull ewes made €90-130/hd.

Irish Independent