The cull ewe trade has been holding at a strong level since going back to the end of 2021.

Of late, prices have improved slightly again and last week, Agriland was at Athenry Mart which saw prices reach €200/head for a 102kg ewe.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began cull ewe prices have been on the rise, and last year saw prices break the €200/head mark on a number of occasions when the trade took off in late-spring last year.

However, the trade did tail off a bit into the summer, but still held at a strong level going into the middle third of the year before rising again towards the tail end of 2021.

Furthermore, taking a look back to this time last year, we can see that prices now are ahead by anywhere from €20-40/head.

Cull ewes

Prices for heavy, well-fleshed ewes this time last year ranged from €120/head up to €135-140/head in general.

While looking at the trade now, heavy ewes are moving at prices of up to €160-175/head and selling back to €145-150/head – which was where top prices were reaching 12 months ago.

Ewes in excess of 95kg are, at some sales, pushing prices north of this to as high as €190-200/head.

Medium-sized ewes are now trading at levels seen by heavy fleshed ewes this time last year, with prices for these types trading around the €120-135-140/head mark.

Lighter store ewes are making from €60-110/head, while hill ewes are starting at a base of €1.00/kg.

Numbers of cull ewes at marts of late have been on the rise, with farmers moving on ewes that scanned empty.