Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Sheep Marts: All-round trade eases but prices remaining strong

Joe Healy

Trade was slightly easier all round as the small drop in lamb prices seemed to have a ripple effect when mart managers said the hogget prices were a little bit easier. Having said this, prices remain relatively strong with plenty of farmer customers.

After a couple of weeks of extremely high prices, the store lamb trade in Athenry Mart yesterday was back by around €5/hd, while the general run of store lambs sold for €70-81. Heavier types from 46-50kg and above held reasonably well, making €42-52 over the kilogramme, while better quality lots sold up to €55 over. Good quality ewe lambs also made over €50 with their weight.

Wexford Farmers Co-Op had another large entry of 2,310hd. Trade was not as sharp as previous weeks, especially for factory lambs, which sold for €39-51 over, in a price range of €82-101, while stores sold for €31-44 over. Ewe lambs made €80-103/hd. Cast ewes made €43-100. Demand was strong for any types of animal suitable for breeding, rams, ewe hoggets or older ewes. Pedigree rams made €225-445, ewe hoggets sold for €125-171, and older breeding ewes sold for €82-148.

Tomorrow's sale will include a show and sale of pedigree rams, crossbred ewes and ewe lambs.

It was their biggest sale of the year so far in Tullow Mart and prices were a tad easier, with the good lambs back €2-3/hd.

Having said that, however, a top price of €107/hd was paid for a pen of lambs weighing an average of 51kg. Most of the rest sold for €42-52 over.


Ewe hoggets generally made €150-175, while lighter, plainer types sold back to €120. One pen of first-crop ewes sold for a top price of €175, but aged ewes continue to be extremely scarce.

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The second Tullow sheep breeders ewe sale is tomorrow. They will have 1,300 hoggets and more than 1,000 ewe lambs on offer alongside several older breeding ewes.

Mountbellew Mart had a big entry of sheep on Saturday with a large number of store lambs on offer. Trade was slightly easier for the lambs. The 45-50kg types sold for €40-47 over the kilogramme, while the quality ewe lambs made closer to the €50 over mark. Store prices ranged from €60-84/hd, while quality lots of breeding ewes remained firm.

Trade, however, was easier for hoggets and the plainer breeding ewes overall. Hoggets sold for €125-172.

First crops made €100-166 and second crops achieved €90-130, while the older ewes sold for €75-115.

The stag ewe trade was strong, with prices of €55 up to €125 being paid by buyers.

Meanwhile, the Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb Group is holding its inaugural replacement and store lamb sale at Milltown Mart, Co Kerry on Tuesday, September 7, at 3pm. Enquiries to Denis Carroll at 087 222 5432.

Irish Independent