We witnessed a significant jump in prices again on Monday, with plenty of lambs up by €5 to €8 on the previous week and plenty of top-quality lots selling for upwards of €158 to €160 per head. Prices are thankfully heading in the right direction to help those finishing lambs to cover higher input costs. Lesser-quality lambs of a similar weight but with a lower cover of flesh or showing some of the effects of recent bad weather sold from €146 to €152.
The factory tactics of recent months where they failed to engage and offer any confidence to producers to feed sheep is now showing in the trade. Supplies have tightened sharply and factories are now rightly having to pay more to get suitable sheep. Agents competed strongly with butcher buyers on Tuesday, lifting fleshed lambs by €8 to €10 per head. Quality 50kg to 55kg lambs sold on average from €150 to €158 and a top of €162 for a super pen of 52kg lambs.
Monday’s sale had some positives for producers showing nice-quality crossbred lambs with prices up by as much as €10 per head or higher, compared with the challenging trade witnessed in previous weeks. The best demand is still for heavier stores, but good-quality light stores also sold much better at prices ranging from €2.35/kg to €2.70/kg. However, light Scotch lambs continue to face a challenging trade, with prices as low as €1.50/kg to €1.70/kg for poorer-quality types and up to €2/kg for better-quality lots.
GVM Tullamore Mart
Numbers are following a seasonal reduction and this is adding more competition to the trade, along with the increase in factory prices. We had a high number of quality lambs weighing 50kg to 55kg on offer on Wednesday and these averaged around €100 with the weight, with a range of €97 to €102 with the weight. The other notable positive to the trade was a significant increase in ewe prices. Ewes weighing over 90kg sold from €80 to €100 over the weight with a top of €238 paid for a 125kg ewe.