Although the trade is generally steady, some marts have reported a slight improvement for better-quality store lambs, with prices of €80-96/hd for forward store types.
Farmer optimism and interest in the breeding season ahead has pushed ewe hoggets prices up to €192/hd and ewe lambs up to €130hd.
Prices for older breeding ewes were €120-160 each. Factory and butcher lambs generally sold for €55-65 over the €/kg and fat cull ewes made €100-130/hd.
In Kilkenny yesterday trade was strong with double the number of sheep since last week at 1,800. Prices for factory and butcher lambs ranged from €104-112 at 50kg, while those at 45kg were sold for €95-104. The trade for breeding hoggets remained steady at €170-190hd. Cull ewes typically sold for €40-140hd.
Enniscorthy had 1,450 sheep for sale and reported steady prices for lambs and cull ewes. Butcher and factory lambs sold for €57-64 over their weight, ranging from €90-112/hd. Stores sold for €80-87, or €50-56 over. Ewe hoggets made €175-192. Prices for heavy cull ewes ran from €100-128/hd, while store culls ranged from €55-87/hd. Breeding rams sold for €350-450/hd.
In the west, the Blackface Mountain lambs sold for €1.95-2.25/kg, or €65-102/hd, at Maam Cross. Ewes with lambs at foot made €107-145/unit, while cull ewes sold for €58-87.
Baltinglass Mart had 1,800 sheep on offer and reported an improved trade for fat and store lambs.
The 47-50kg lambs sold for €100-108 each. Prices for 40-45kg lambs varied from €95-104, while lambs weighing 25-35kg made €65-83/hd. Suffolk-cross ewe lambs made up to €130 each. Cull ewes sold for €60-100/hd. In the breeding section, hoggets made €150-180, while first-, second- and third-crop ewes sold for €120-160 each.
Mountbellew had one of its biggest sales of the year so far, where store lambs and ewe lambs met a brisk trade, especially for quality stores. Heavy stage ewes met an increased demand and sold for up to €128/hd.
The best of the factory and butcher lambs sold for €55-65 over the €/kg. Store prices went from €78 to €96/lamb and farmers paid €140-174/hd for ewe hoggets.