The mart trade for sheep continues to surpass expectations, with prices over the last week hitting new highs once again.

At some sales throughout the week, top prices of €174-181/head were reported for well-fleshed good-quality hoggets, with the majority of those heavy good-quality 50kg plus hoggets selling at and above €170/head throughout the past week.

While 47-49kg hoggets and some 50kg plus hoggets of lesser-quality have been selling to highs of €155-170/head and hitting €172-173/head.

Also Read: ‘Sheep farmers are getting their turn of really good prices’

Prices have been strengthening week-to-week now over the last while, as supplies continue to be a long way short of demand.

The increasing prices for those butcher and factory hoggets also continue to trickle down to store hoggets.

Mart managers have been quick to note the increasing number of ewe hoggets being brought forward for sale that would generally be kept until later in the year and this is helping to boost numbers at sales at some marts significantly as very strong prices draw out numbers.

Furthermore, many mart managers also added that they have never seen as good a trade for sheep as they are seeing now, with the appetite among butchers, wholesalers and factory agents strong.

As well as the booming trade for hoggets, the cull ewe trade has improved once again, with many top-quality heavy ewes selling to highs of €135-150/head, with some mart managers noting prices as high as €154-160/head.

Mart managers have even been noting an increase in prices for lighter store ewes recently.

With supplies tight and Easter around the corner who knows where prices could end up.