Heartening prices for Valentine’s Day
factory source was confident enough that tight supplies should help to underpin the trade, at least for the foreseeable future.
Good things come to those who wait and God knows sheep farmers have waited l ong enough for some good news.
Trade at the marts also reaped t he benefits of strengthening factory prices.
The IFA’s John Lynskey said that farmers who have incurred the expense of carrying and feeding lambs to this stage need to be getting €5/kg.
Years ago in science class, we learned that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction and the positive 30c/kg r e f er r ed t o for the l ambs compared to 12 months ago is negated somewhat by the 3040c/kg less that is being offered for cull ewes when compared to February 2013.
All the plants continue to quote 200c/kg but prices of up to 230c/kg and possibly more are being negotiated.
Cumulative supply is back 10pc, or 23,000hd, compared to 2013 figures.
In Britain, tightening supplies continued to help t rade upwards. The SQQ l i ve price for lambs in England and Wales was making t he equivalent of around €5.14/kg deadweight towards the end of the week.
In France, the market was still quiet, with demand under some pressure from a strong supply of British lamb.
Prices for Irish Grade 1 lamb were around €4. 93kg
(inclusive of VAT).
With numbers tightening, the mart trade showed further improvement over the past week and this continued into the sales held yesterday in Athenry, Kilkenny and Fermoy. The latter was probably the pick of the crop with a number of pens of heavy lambs making from €58-68 with the €/kg and selling to top prices of €120.
Lambs of 40 -50kg were selling for €40-55 over. Cull ewes made from €40-90/hd, while ewes with single lambs at foot sold for €112-172/unit.
Prices for lambs in Kilkenny were up by €2-3/hd. Butcher lambs sold in a price range of €106-117 or €52-62 with their weight.
Factory types were making from €94-110 or €53-61 over. Prices for stores ran from €7585 each.
Cull ewes sold for €60-90. Athenry’s sale was not just as brisk as the other two with lamb prices struggling to break the €60 over the €/kg, ranging from €50-60 over.
Lighter lambs were making from €40-54 over the weight. Elsewhere, during the week ewes with lambs at foot hit a high of €200.
There were bigger numbers of 1,800 on offer at Carnew Mart with improved lamb prices of €2-3 on the previous week. Cull ewes were up by €5/hd at a range from €35-101.
The butcher and fac tor y lambs sold for €57-63 over the €/kg at prices of €102-116. Stores made from €75-101 or €42-61 with the weight.
Prices for ewes with lambs at foot varied from €100-160 while in-lamb ewes made from €105-140.
Mountbellew had a similar number of sheep on offer to the previous week. Cull ewes met with good demand, especially for heavier lots, and sold from €50-91.
Suitably fleshed lambs were a firm trade and made up to €55 over their weight. Stores made up to €95. Second crop ewes with a pair of lambs each topped out at €200. Second crops scanned with triplets and due in March sold for €131 while similar age ewes carrying eight twins and two singles sold for €137.
The sheep trade was improved at Dowra Mart last Saturday with the top pens of lambs making from €80-104, while the general run of the stores made from €50-80 each. In-lamb ewes s ol d from €80-130.
The tops of the cull ewes made from €60-85 each, while ewes for further feeding made from €35-55 each.
Over in Maam Cross the Blackface mountain ewes in lamb were making from €45-72. Wether hoggets made from €4573. Cross-bred lambs moved at prices of €30-68 in the main but a few top pens made up to €80. Blackface wether and ram lambs made from €35-58.
The heavy lambs down in Enniscorthy were making from €50-57 over at €103-107/hd. Fac tor y lots made from €99-102/hd.
Good demand for stores resulted in prices of €75-98 or €52-57 over the €/kg. Light cull ewes sold for €37-66. Heavy types made from €77-92.