Ballyjamesduff Mart in Co. Cavan held its weekly general sheep sale on Wednesday evening, with approximately 70 lots of sheep up for auction. Paul Sheridan, spokesperson for Ballyjamesduff Mart, noted that the sale consisted mainly of fat lambs, but there was also a noticeable number of lighter-type lambs available. Sheridan commented that farmers are currently receiving a clear price premium for fat lambs at the mart.
According to Sheridan, the mart trade is performing exceptionally well and is significantly ahead of factory prices. In some cases, prices at the mart are €10-12/head higher than factory prices. Sheridan provided an example of a recent batch of lambs weighing 46kg, which sold for €156/head at the mart. If these lambs were sold at the factory price of €7.10/kg for a 21kg carcass weight, they would have only made €149/head. Therefore, the mart price offered farmers an additional €7/head for the same batch of lambs.
Sheridan highlighted the presence of active factory agents at the sale and mentioned that buyers are particularly interested in heavy ewes, although they are not as readily available. He stated that lambs weighing 40-42kg are selling for €129-137, while fleshy lambs weighing 43kg and above are fetching up to €144-145. Additionally, well-fleshed lambs weighing around 45-46kg are selling for €155-160/head. Fat ewes weighing 90kg are being sold for €162-163/head, which is slightly lower than their peak prices. Breeding hoggets can be purchased from €150/head upwards.
Sheridan also noted that there is a strong trade for lighter-type lambs at the sale. Lambs weighing 37-38kg are selling for €128-132/head, while lambs weighing 32-33kg are fetching around €116-117/head. He explained that some farmers are buying these light lambs for feeding purposes.
In addition to the general sheep sale, Ballyjamesduff Mart will host its annual show and sale of breeding hoggets and ewes on Wednesday, August 2. A show and sale of breeding rams will also take place on Wednesday, August 9. Two sale rings will be in operation on both nights, with one ring dedicated to breeding stock and the other ring for the general sheep sale.