Last week saw a super trade for cast ewes of all weight categories, with top prices for fleshed ewes reaching €180-198/head.

It’s not as if the cull ewe trade came to life last week, as it has been increasingly been improving week-on-week over the last while.

Ewes over 90kg and up to 115kg over the past week have been selling to highs of €180-190/head, with many moving at prices of €140-170/head.

Good quality 80-89kg ewes were even sold at highs of €140-160/head at sales during the last seven days.

Like the previous week, the number of spring lambs on offer remains small but the trade was strong with prices reaching highs of €170-190/head. Prices for springs started generally from €130-140/head for lambs over 30kg.

The hogget trade has eased back over the past week. At sales held early last week, prices as high as €178-180/head were seen but as the week went on, prices dropped back to highs of €168/head up to €175/head.

Many mart managers called prices to be back €2-5/head at least and more in cases (as much as €10/head) on the previous week for hoggets, although overall, were still a strong trade.

For those well-fleshed good-quality 50kg hoggets, top prices generally ran from €166/head up to €175/head and sold back as far as €160-163/head.

Lesser-quality 50kg plus hoggets sold back as far as €150/head and sold up to €158-160/head.

47-49kg hoggets sold to highs of €170/head in isolated cases, but in the main, sold from €145/head up to €168/head.

44-46kg hoggets traded from €140/head up to €155/head, with hoggets as light as 40kg selling back to €120/head, with lesser-quality lots selling as far back as €105-110/head.

Quality among hoggets is becoming increasingly more variable and in many cases, the higher prices paid out for hoggets are generally for ewe hoggets with breeding potential.

Loughrea Mart

There was a very good trade for cull ewes and the few pens of spring lambs that were on offer at Loughrea Mart on Thursday last (March 25).

The trade for hoggets however was back on the previous week, with prices topping €168/head for 10 weighing 50.8kg.

In general prices for those 50kg plus hoggets ranged from €151/head up to €168/head, with many of the better-quality types making €163-168/head.

47-49kg hoggets ranged in price from €150/head up to €159/head. A couple pens of store hoggets were on offer, but quality was lacking and this was reflected in the prices paid out.

A very good trade was seen for the few pens of spring lambs, with prices ranging from €133/head up to a high of €173/head for three 45kg lambs.

The standout trade at Thursday’s sale in Loughrea was for cull ewes with prices reaching €189 for one 113kg ewe.

A couple of pens of 87-89kg ewes traded strongly and sold from 136/head up to €150/head.

Sample spring lamb prices:

  • Two at 53kg sold for €171/head or €3.22/kg;
  • Three at 45kg sold for €173/head or €3.84/kg;
  • Five at 45.6kg sold for €170/head or €3.72/kg.

Sample hogget prices:

  • Two at 57kg sold for €167/head or €3.15/kg;
  • Three at 51.6kg sold for €164/head or €3.17/kg;
  • 10 at 50.8kg sold for €168/head or €3.30/kg;
  • 11 at 47.8kg sold for €156/head or €3.26/kg;
  • Three at 47kg sold for €152/head or €3.23/kg;
  • Five at 45.6kg sold for €143/head or €3.13/kg.

Sample cull ewe prices:

  • Two at 87kg sold for €136/head or €1.56/kg;
  • One at 113kg sold for €189 or €1.67/kg;
  • Four at 89kg sold for €149/head or 1.67/kg;
  • One at 88kg sold for €150 or €1.70/kg.

Carnew Mart

A large entry of 2,631 sheep were presented for sale at Carnew Mart on Thursday last (March 25).

David Quinn said that records were broken at the Wicklow-based mart once again, with a new record price of €183/head paid for a pen of 48kg spring lambs, while cull ewes sold to a high of €198/head.

On the other hand, hoggets were back €2-5/head on the previous week and sold to a high of €168/head.

David said that heavy cull ewes sold at prices of €150-190/head, with light ewes selling back to €90/head.

Ewes with single lambs at foot made from €186/unit up to €250/unit, while ewes with twin lambs at foot traded from €240/unit up to €310/unit.

Sample spring lamb prices:

  • 30 at 42kg sold for €152/head or €3.61/kg;
  • 14 at 48kg sold for €183/head or €3.81/kg;
  • Six at 46kg sold for €181/head or €3.93/kg;
  • 15 at 40kg sold for €156/head or €3.90/kg;
  • 12 at 42kg sold for €165/head or 43.92/kg.

Sample hogget prices:

  • 25 at 68kg sold for €168/head or €2.47/kg;
  • 12 at 50kg sold for €156/head or €3.12/kg;
  • 29 at 49kg sold for €157/head or €3.20/kg;
  • 22 at 47kg sold for €150/head or €3.19/kg;
  • 16 at 48kg sold for €160/head or €3.33/kg;
  • 13 at 48kg sold for €155/head or €3.22/kg.