The trade for cull ewes continues to catch the eye every passing week, with the start of this week (beginning Monday, March 28) seeing prices at marts continuing to move forward.

Between factory prices rising to €4.00/kg for culls and exporters providing extra competition at sales, it’s resulting in a bumper trade for ewes of all weight categories.

Starting with the more eye-catching prices, heavy ewes, particularly those weighing in excess of 100kg are commanding prices up to near €240/head, with one mart in the northwest reporting a top price of €300 for cull ewes.

In general, many marts are seeing prices reaching highs of between €220-235/head; while ewes weighing back to 95kg are selling anywhere north of €195/head up to €220/head at many sales – and even more in cases.

Mart managers who have been speaking to Agriland have been describing the ewe trade as unbelievable.

Ewes weighing 80-95kg have been selling northwards of €180/head and making up to €200-210/head.

While ewes in the 70-80kg weight bracket have also been witnessing a stronger trade, with prices starting north of €150/head for fleshed ewes in this weight bracket and hitting highs of up to €180/head; however, this isn’t the case across the board for ewes in this weight bracket, with lesser-quality types falling back to €135-140/head.

As has been the case for the last number of weeks, many marts are seeing prices for light feeding ewes of lowland breeding generally starting at €90-100/head.

All in all, it’s a good time to be shipping off lesser-priority stock, such as cull ewes, who are possibly eating valuable grass supplies on farms that may not have as much grass this year as other years, with the way fertiliser prices are currently.