Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Sheep marts: Trade still strong at marts that beat snow

Joe Healy

The weather continued to play havoc with the sheep marts last week, especially in the east and south of the country. Most didn't bother to hold any sales as conditions were too dangerous, while others ended up with only a few pens of sheep.

Where sales went ahead, the trade was strong with factory men and butchers in strong competition with each other. Farmers were keen for lighter-type store lambs, while cull ewes with flesh continued to command prices of more than €100/hd.

Cross-bred lambs made €50-88 at Maam Cross and mountain types sold for €45-80. Weather hoggets made €75-106 and mountain ewes sold for €60-95/hd.

Kilkenny Mart saw lambs sell to €120 yesterday. There was good buying for heavy lambs of over 50kg, with €53-63 over being paid for the nicely finished lots. Lambs of 40-50kg made €44-53 over, while lighter store-types generally sold for €40-45 over.

At Athenry yesterday the good quality lots at 46-54kg made €50-59 over. Prices of €43-52 over the weight seemed to be the going rate for lambs weighing 38-48kg.

There was a small sale at Bandon Mart with a top price of €107 paid for 49kg lambs. The general run for the rest was €45-54 over the weight. A limited number of cull ewes sold to €72 each.

Carndonagh had more than 800 sheep on offer last Saturday. The best prices were for lambs over 50kg with factory agents willing to pay €115-120. Lambs of 40-50kg sold for €95-110 each while lighter lots made €40-55 over the weight. Cross-bred breeding ewes, scanned in-lamb, made up to €200.

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