Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ringside: Cull ewes up 10c/kg as hoggets blossom

A ram with ewes - An Bord Bia reported that sheep trade remained steady last week. Photo O'Gorman Photography.
A ram with ewes - An Bord Bia reported that sheep trade remained steady last week. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

Joe Healy

While most of the talk in the sheep world this week will be about the World Shearing Championships in Gorey, the other news is that the sector has started the week in a positive fashion with quotes up for each category.

The lambs and cull ewes show a 10c/kg rise in places while the hoggets enjoy 10-20c/kg improvement. In a further boost, Moyvalley said that they have upgraded their sheep line and are renewing their trade with the French market after an absence of approximately 18 months. They are anxious for extra lambs so are worth calling this week. Their quote is €6/kg all-in.

The ICMs, who are one of the joint main sponsors of the shearing championships, have upped their lamb quote by 10c/kg to a base of 590c/kg plus the 10c/kg for Quality Assured stock. Kildare are more or less tops with their base of 595c/kg plus the two 5c/kg bonuses for QA and U grades. Kepak Athleague are also up 10c/kg to 590c/kg plus 6c/kg for QA lambs. Dawn is on a similar base to the rest but their 6c/kg bonus is for U grades.

The IFA's John Lynskey said that with supplies tight, many farmers are bargaining and getting prices of between 610-620c/kg.

Apart from Dawn who are on the same quote of 530c/kg plus the bonus for hoggets, the rest of the factories are showing a 10-20c/kg improvement. The biggest jump is from the ICM plants where a 20c/kg rise propels them up to 540c/kg plus 10c/kg QA bonus.

Kildare and Athleague are also on a base of 540c/kg thanks to a 10c/kg increase. Kildare are also offering the two 5c/kg bonuses while it is a 6c/kg top up for QA hoggets in Kepak.

An increase of 10c/kg for the cull ewe quote lifts Kildare clear of the rest at 250c/kg. A similar improvement from Kepak moves them up in line with the ICMs and Dawn at 240c/kg.

An Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade remained steady last week as supplies remained relatively tight. Across our key export markets, trade increased in the UK while on the continent trade was slow.

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Average prices were largely unchanged. Base quotes for hoggets were making around €5.30/kg. New season spring lamb ranged between €5.80-5.90/kg.


The sheep trade was somewhat improved at the marts over the past week and this carried through into yesterday's sales. Kilkenny was definitely the pick of the crop yesterday where a small turnout of approximately 500 sheep met with a big improvement on the previous Monday.

A number of good quality well-fleshed lots weighing between 49-54kg made from €135-142 or €85-88 over the €/kg. Most of the other heavier type lambs made from €70-80 with the weight.

Three aged ewes with four lambs at foot sold for €145 while eight ewe hoggets and nine lambs at foot made up to €175.

The heavy lambs in Athenry sold for up to €128. In the main they made from €67-78 over the €/kg while lighter lambs made from €60-70 over. A pen of ewe hoggets made up to €135.

In Fermoy, the butcher type lambs made from €65-77 with the €/kg. Lambs a few kg either side of the 40kg sold for €65-70 over the weight. Cull ewe prices ranged from €70-110.

Carnew had 1,100 sheep on offer and reported a very strong trade with prices up €7-10 for spring lambs, while there was also a strong demand for hoggets with prices varying from €85-123.

Mountbellew reported increased numbers of spring lambs and old ewes on offer and also a large number of ewes with lambs at foot, while spring lambs up in Mayo/Sligo mart made from €2.30-2.80/kg. Hoggets made up to €2.40/kg. Ewes with lambs at foot ranged from €130-285.

Indo Farming