Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Sheep marts: Demand holds firm despite big numbers

Joe Healy

Numbers of breeding stock are tailing off but the quality types are still making good prices. Lamb numbers are strong and trade is firm, with a steady market also reported for the cull ewes. More and more farmers are realising that the mart is the better option if their lambs are moving into the heavier weights.

Mountbellew Mart had a large turnout of lambs and stag ewes on offer, and a smaller number of breeding ewes and ewe hoggets. The lambs were a slightly easier trade compared to the previous week, especially the heavier lots. Store lambs remained firm. Heavier lots of ewe lambs were in strong demand and sold up to €100. Lambs weighing from 40kg up to more than 50kg sold for €43-48 over the weight, while lighter lots made €35-43 over the €/kg.

Despite moving into November, ewe hoggets made as high as €170. Young breeding ewes were making €116-135. Second and third crops sold for €98-125 each. Stag ewes made up to €115 for heavier lots, while lighter feeding lots made €55-90/hd.

Enniscorthy Mart had a large entry of 2,285 sheep on offer. There was a good, firm demand for all classes especially store lambs and cast ewes. Prices for the stores ranged from €69-90/hd or €37-48 over the weight. Butcher and factory types sold for €38-49 over, with a top price of €105/hd. Ewe lambs made €80-118 each. Hogget ewe prices varied from €124 up to €154, with the older breeding ewes selling for €79-130. Breeding rams made €125-300 each. Heavy fleshed cull ewes made up to €109, while the thinner types for further feeding sold back to €43/hd.

At Saturday's sheep sale in Maam Cross, mountain breeding ewes sold from €60-95. Hoggets made €80-130, while tops for the mountain ewe lambs was €105. The general run made €50-83 each.

Wether lambs sold for €35-54, while crossbred lambs made €48-86.

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Irish Independent