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Sheep marts: Good demand for breeding stock

Thankfully, one of the best years enjoyed by sheep farmers shows no signs of abating. The mart trade continues to be very strong. Numbers of breeding stock are dwindling but prices remain good. Factory lambs are steady, while there was strong buying for store lambs.

At Athenry Mart yesterday, top-quality ewe lambs sold up to €56 over the €1/kg, with €109 paid for 53 kgs. The good heavy types around 50kgs were making €45-53 over the weight, while the lighter lambs weighing 37-45 kgs made €40-48 over

There were 2,180 sheep on offer at Tullow. Fat lambs were up €2-3/hd, making €44-53 over or €87-106 each. Stores were up €2 and selling at €33-46 over in a price range of €62-85. The ewe lambs made €47-63 over and selling for €98-118. Cast ewes made €39-110. Breeding ewe hoggets were making €122-144.

Trade at Maam Cross held firm. A big sale met with interest, especially in the breeding section. Prices for the mountain type ewe hogget ranged from €80-130 with the older ewes sold for €60-95/hd. Ewe lambs were selling for a run of €50-83, with a top price of €123 paid for strong quality. Wether lambs sold for €35-54, while the crossbred lambs made €48-86 each. Cull ewes sold for €38-63.

Enniscorthy Mart reported another very large entry of sheep, with 2,765 on offer and a very good selling trade especially for store lambs. Those lighter types were making €36-47 over the weight and selling for €69-91/hd. Butcher and factory lambs sold for €86-102 or €38-49 over. Prices for ewe lambs ranged from €81-122. Cull ewes made €44-111. Farmers are still anxious for breeding stock. Ewe hoggets were making €121-151, with the older ewes making €83-128/hd. Breeding rams made €138-415 each.

Mountbellew Mart had a large number of sheep on offer, even if the numbers of stag and breeding ewes were reduced. Store and ewe lambs met with firm trade, with factory lambs similar to the previous week. Stag ewes were easier. There was brisk trade for breeding sheep, with the hoggets selling in a range of €130-176. First and second crop ewes made €100-160, while older breeders sold for €80-116. Good demand for heavier lots of cull ewes saw prices range from €64-115/hd.

Ewe lambs sold from €40-46 over the €1/kg, with quality lots suitable for breeding making up to €69 over. Wether and ram lambs made €37-43 over.

Irish Independent