Farmers who went to the trouble of carrying their lambs over the festive period were rewarded as prices were improved on the already very strong pre-Christmas trade.
Any time you see store lambs making as high as €109 each, there is very little that needs to be said about the trade. The heaviest of the cull ewes made up to €130, while limited numbers of in-lamb ewes sold for €120-160.
Lambs fit for slaughter were selling for €60-73 with the €1/kg. Good quality ewe lambs bought for future breeding made up to €130. Farmers with cull ewes or lambs to sell should ensure that unless they are adequately fleshed and fit for killing that they sell them through the marts. The trade for both ewe and lamb stores is very lively.
At Athenry Mart, the good factory and butcher lambs were selling for €63-73 over their weight, with the top price over the weight being €121 for 48kg. The 40-46kg lambs were making from €55-65 over generally, while lighter types sold for €48-55 over the €1/kg.
Down south, there were 300 sheep at the mart in Fermoy. Nicely finished lambs weighing over 47kg made €60-72 with the weight. Lambs of 38-45kg were making €50-60 over.
Sheep numbers were low at Dowra Mart's first sale of the new year on Saturday last but prices were very strong for the sheep on offer. Ewe lambs made €100-130 each while the store lambs sold for €65-95. Heavy cull ewes made €80-110, while lighter ewes for feeding sold for €55-85/hd. A few pens of aged in-lamb ewes made €120-160.
Baltinglass Mart had 850 sheep at their sale with improved prices for all lambs. The 50-60kg well-fleshed lots made €110-121. Lambs weighing 45-50kg sold for €95-110, while stores made €75-100. Suffolk-cross ewe lambs ranged from €95-130. Prices for cull ewes hit a high of €125, with ewes for further feeding selling back to €75.
There was 1,300 sheep on offer at Carnew Mart. Prices were up by €3 on December sales. Nicely fleshed butcher and factory lambs made €65-72 over their weight in a price range of €110-126. Stores made €55-65 over selling for €80-109 each.
Cull ewes had a very strong trade, with the heavier lots making up to a top price of €130. The rest sold from this back to €65. Ewes in-lamb made from €130-160/hd.