With just short of 4,000 sheep on offer in Kenmare Mart on Monday, there was a good buzz about as the lambs on offer met a great demand.
August sheep sales in Kenmare are usually a hive of activity as people pop in for the social scene.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting the amount of people on the premises that isn’t the case this year but despite a cap on numbers, there was no negative impact on trade.
There was plenty choice and it showed in the prices available.
Prices of up to €3/kg were available for the good Suffolk or lowland lamb. At the other end of the spectrum, hill lambs were making from €2.20/kg to €2.30/kg. In between those, crossbred lambs sold for up to €2.80/kg.
Hogget ewe prices are performing well too, with prices for those ranging from €130 to €170 per head.
There was also a good trade on the day for cull ewes. Good strong lowland ewes were making €30 with their weight, with lighter hill ewes making from €10 to €15 with the weight.
Speaking after a busy sale, mart manager, Dan McCarthy was content with proceedings: “Trade is holding well. The good price paid for finished lamb last spring is showing now in the store trade now.
“Farmers are selling a bit lighter than usual. They’re taking advantage of the good prices and they’re producing better stock too.
“It’s paying farmers to have stock dosed and presented well in the mart. It’s important not to have mixed lots of ewes and rams too. Buyers would tell me they have more options with a well presented wether lamb.”
As someone who ranked among the most vocal critics of online selling last year, Kenmare mart manager Dan McCarthy has changed his view.
“I suppose you could say, I’ve been converted. Online selling has been a great success for us. It’s giving us access to more buyers or giving them access to us, whichever way you look at it.”
Something for sellers to note, the presentation lambs has increased significance with online selling.
Lambs with dirty behinds or long tails trailing on the ground can put some buyers off and could shave a few euros off the final price.