The talk the last while has been that of the improvement seen in the cull ewe trade, with prices hitting and breaking the €200/head mark at marts in recent weeks.

Demand, along with prices, have shot up of late and numbers on offer at marts have also crept up, mart managers have told Agriland.

Looking at the trade last week for those heavy ewes, ewes in excess of 95-100kg have been hitting and making over the €200 mark in recent weeks.

Many of those 95-100kg ewes have been selling from €170-200, while ewes in the 85-95kg weight bracket have been moving at prices ranging from €145-175/head in general.

70-80kg ewes are generally selling upwards of €100/head and making to €130-135/head.

The hogget trade last week at marts continued to remain steady; top prices for heavy butcher-type hoggets continuing to hit as high as €158-160/head.

The majority of 50kg plus hoggets continue to sell over €150/head, with quality fleshed 47-49kg lots also breaking the €150/head mark – prices for these hogget are starting at €146-147/head.

A solid store trade continues to be seen, with quality becoming more varied. Price ranges are also widening, with forward stores generally selling from a base of €125/head and selling up to €140-145/head.

Demand for ewes with lambs at foot is continuing to remain strong and so are prices.

The general run of prices range from €150/unit for aged ewes with single lambs at foot up to €295-315/unit for quality or young ewes with two lambs at foot.