Trade holds steady despite some dips
It was a reasonably steady week for the sheep trade at the marts around the country, with a few reporting some improvement while others said that prices may have been a shade easier.
Fleshed lambs generally sold for €60-78 over the weight. Cull ewes hit a top of €148. Ewes with lambs at foot made up to €300/hd, while ewes scanned in-lamb sold for €150-250/hd.
The 350 sheep at Fermoy Mart yesterday met with a great demand. A pen of good ewe lambs weighing 56kg sold for €138. Well-fleshed butcher and factory types made €64-80 over the €1/kg. Lighter lots sold for €55-64 over. Butcher lambs of 50kg made up to €84 over the weight in Athenry. Factory types sold for €65-75 over and cull ewes made €80-142 each.
Lambs were up €1-2/hd at Baltinglass Mart. The heavy 50-60kg lots made €115-124, with the 45-50kg types at €95-112. Stores sold for €65-95/hd. Ewe lambs hit a high of €130. Cull ewes made €90-120.
Dowra Mart reported smaller numbers and quality on Saturday, but trade was still strong. Ewe lambs made €100-125 each, while wethers and rams sold for €90-115/hd. Lighter store lambs for feeding made €70-90/hd. Heavy cull ewes sold for €90-130, with ewes for feeding at €50-85 each. In-lamb ewes made €120-180 each.
Maam Cross is getting good numbers of ewes scanned in-lamb, with returns of €65-120. Blackface mountain ewe lambs sold for €85-128, with the crossbred lambs at €72-110. Cull ewes made €36-55.
Sheep numbers were steady at Mountbellew Mart. Lambs met with a slightly easier trade, but there was still a firm demand for fleshy types and quality lots of ewe lambs. Butcher and factory lots made €60-73 over the weight, while the best of the ewe lambs weighing 62kg made up to €134.
In-lamb ewe prices were back a little, with farmers showing a preference for ewes already lambed. A pen of first-crop ewes with five lambs at foot made €300. Second and third crops with either single or twin lambs at foot made €200-290. There was keen demand for the cull ewes, especially the well-fleshed types, with returns of €80-143.