Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Sheep marts: Numbers on offer dry up but trade still firm

Joe Healy

Marts are reporting a fall- off in the number of sheep on offer. The strong trade throughout the year ensured farmers kept their stock moving as soon as they were fit and sheep were almost always sold when offered for sale.

The trade for everything from heavy butcher types, factory, stores, breeding ewes to culls and rams met an extremely strong trade all year.

However, the trade needs to remain strong from now on because those farmers who purchased stores over the past few months at high prices need factory prices to move closer to the €5/kg mark in order for their efforts to be worthwhile.

Tullow Mart had a smaller sale than normal with 1,160 sheep on offer. Well-fleshed lambs were up €2/hd making €48-59 over their weight in a price range of €96-105/hd. Prices for stores were also up by around €2-3/hd at €38-51 over the €1/kg. Top prices of up to €91 were paid for the best quality pens. Cull ewes sold for €42-115 depending on flesh.

Mountbellew also reported a smaller number of sheep on offer than in recent weeks due mainly to the inclement weather conditions. Cull ewes were very much in demand.

There was also a firm trade for factory lambs and ewe lambs. Store lambs remain steady and scarce. Wether lambs made from €45-54 over the weight. The best of the ewe lambs sold up to €65 over with 46kgs making €111. Stores were generally making €38-45 with their weight.

Heavy cull ewes were making as much as what breeding ewes were making a few weeks ago with a top price of €141. Ewes for feeding sold back to €75.

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Irish Independent