David Quinn, the mart manager of Carnew Mart, reported a huge number of cast ewes at the Wicklow-based mart’s weekly sale of sheep on Thursday (April 15).

Over 2,500 sheep were on offer on the day, with the spring lamb, hogget and cast ewe trades very strong.

Looking at the latter first, record prices were achieved at Carnew for cull ewes on Thursday, with prices topping €208 for a 115kg ewe.

David added: “We saw a super trade for cast ewes on Thursday, with record prices being achieved. We had a huge entry of 1,200-1,300 cull ewes on the day.

“Prices reached €208 for a heavy ewe at 115kg. The majority of the fleshed ewes on the day made from €140/head up to €180/head, in general.

“The lighter ewes maybe weren’t as hot a trade this week as last week, but still sold well, with prices ranging from €90/head up to €130/head.”

Hoggets and spring lambs

David said that hoggets didn’t quite hit the heights seen last week, but were still a brilliant trade, with prices topping €187/head.

He added: “We had about 1,000 hoggets on offer on Thursday, with those heavy hoggets over 50kg selling to highs of €180-187/head.

“The lesser-quality 50kg plus hoggets sold back to €170/head.

“Then, the more factory-type hoggets generally made from €150/head up to €170/head.”

Sample hogget prices:

  • 11 at 54kg sold for €181/head;
  • 12 at 57kg sold for €180/head;
  • 16 at 51kg sold for €176/head;
  • 25 at 49kg sold for €179/head;
  • 20 at 46kg sold for €149/head;
  • Seven at 45kg sold for €159/head.

The spring lamb trade was improved on the previous week with prices reaching €190/head.

David explained: “We had less than 200 spring lambs on offer, with the 48kg plus lambs selling to highs of €180-190/head.

“Generally, prices for spring lambs started around the €150/head mark for 39-40kg lambs.”

Sample spring lamb prices:

  • Two at 55kg sold for €185/head;
  • 14 at 49kg sold for €179/head;
  • 10 at 48kg sold for €176/head;
  • 15 at 45kg sold for €177/head;
  • 11 at 43kg sold for €160/head;
  • 13 at 42kg sold for €161/head.

Ewes with lambs at foot

Lastly, a strong solid trade was seen for ewes with lambs at foot at Carnew, with prices topping €305/head for ewes with two lambs at foot.

David said: “We continue to see a very solid trade for the ewes with lambs at foot.

“Ewes with single lambs at foot exchanged hands at €175/unit up to €255/unit. While ewes with twin lambs at foot traded from €230/unit up to €305/unit.”