There has been no let-up in demand for finished lambs at marts this week, with factory agents eager to buy what they can get. However, this demand hasn’t resulted in any further upward movement in prices.

Supplies of finished lambs remain tight, and have tightened further at some marts, and where competition is strong, lambs continue to sell over €140/head.

Lambs in excess of 47-48kg continue to sell from €138/head up to high of €145/head, on average, with interest from butchers driving prices north of €140/head too.

Where competition isn’t as strong and/or the quality of lambs is less, prices for finished lambs have fallen back to €128-130/head.

The trade for forward stores appear to be getting sluggish at some marts, with prices above €103-105/head for quality forward stores seen less and less. This has been the case at marts mostly in the western and southern parts of the country.

Where demand is still lively for these forward stores, prices of €105/head to highs of €115-118/head remain to be achieved.

The scene for long-keep stores remains a hard place, with demand not showing signs of change.

Prices have been ranging anywhere from €40-65/head for hill-bred lambs weighing as low as 20kg and up to 30-32kg, and up to €85-90/head for lowland-bred lambs weighing 35-37kg.

The ewe trade is also unchanged, with lighter ewes still dominating the cull section at marts.

Supplies of heavy ewes remaining scarce, with prices remaining from €125/head up to €160/head, with 95kg plus ewes pushing returns above this level.

Ewes in the 70-80kg weight bracket are moving at prices ranging from €90-120/head, with ewes weighing back to 60kg selling back to €65-70/head.

Thin and hill-bred ewes are selling from €40-45/head up to €60-65/head on average.