The lamb trade at marts for heavier type lambs continues to remain firm, despite factory prices easing back since the beginning of the week.

In fact, this first bit of movement in factory prices in a number of weeks appears not to have stirred the trade at marts thus far.

Mart managers have been relaying this message while also noting an added bite for forward store lambs.

With last week’s sheep kill (week ending October 1) exceeding 65,000 head, it’s clear to see that demand for lambs remains strong, particularly those with adequate flesh cover.

Well-fleshed lambs weighing in excess of 47-48kg are generally trading upwards of €133-135/head, with lambs generally weighing over 50kg pushing returns above €140/head to €145/head, and even slightly above this in some cases.

Lambs that have frame, but lack flesh, in the 45-50kg plus weight bracket are selling from €118-132/head in general, with more plainer types selling below this range.

There is also still a noticeable demand for ewe lambs, with mart managers reporting top prices for lambs over 40kg anywhere from €128/head up to €138-140/head for well-presented lowland-bred ewe lambs.

There has been a pickup in the trade for forward stores over the last number of weeks, as farmers look to replenish grass supplies to put on cheap weight gain, with many lambs selling upwards of €100/head to high of €115-118/head.

Some are pushing returns of €122-124/head at some sales.

Again, similar to the heavier lambs, quality and flesh cover are dictating prices for stores, and this is resulting in a wide range in prices being paid out.

The trade for long-keep stores however is proving much trickier, with prices ranging anywhere from just over €50-60/head for hill-bred lambs and up to €85-95/head for lowland-bred lambs.