Sheep marts: Trade strong for stores and ewes

Joe Healy

The sheep trade at the marts remains very strong. Apart from the factory and butcher buying, there is keen demand from farmers for stores and ewes with lambs or in-lamb types.

One mart manager was of the opinion that quite a few extra farmers have settled on stocking their farms with sheep this year as, despite having to pay well for them, they will not have to spend as much as they would on cattle at the moment.

Hoggets made up to €87 over the weight at Athenry Mart yesterday as a butcher paid €143 for 18 lambs weighing 56kg. The heavy, well-fleshed lots made €75-84 over, while the rest sold for €64-74 over the €1/kg. The general run for the cull ewes was €65-118, with a top price of €125.

In Fermoy, hoggets ranged from €74-85 over for the better lots to €60-70 over for the lighter and plainer types.

There were 680 sheep on offer in Dowra Mart on Saturday and a very strong trade for all classes on the day. Hoggets made €90-125 each, while a few choice pens for breeding made up to €145 each. The lighter hoggets sold for €70-90 each. Ewes with twin lambs at foot made €170-245 and the best of the young in-lamb ewes sold for €140-175.

Blackface mountain ewes at Maam Cross made €65-75 and crossbred ewes with lambs at foot sold to €150.

Ewes scanned in lamb made €95-125 and lambs and hoggets sold for €55-120.

Enniscorthy had a large entry with 1,190 on offer. Prices were improved for all classes. Butcher and factory hoggets made €115-131 or €65-76 over the weight. Stores sold for €94-109 or €56-69 over and ewe hoggets for breeding later on made €118-133.

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There were bigger numbers of sheep on offer to previous weeks at Mountbellew Mart and a very brisk trade was reported for stag ewes, fleshy hoggets and ewes with lambs at foot.

Nice hoggets made €70-80 over the €1/kg, while plainer lots sold for €60-68 over.

At Baltinglass Mart, heavy 44-70kg hoggets sold for €100-148/hd while lighter types made €75-90 each. Ewe hoggets sold for up to €130/hd.

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