The trade for factory and butcher type lambs has slipped slightly on previous weeks, with these lots back by €1-3/head, according to the country’s mart managers.

However, despite this fall, the trade for store lambs remains very strong with plenty of demand from buyers around the ring.

The quality of breeding stock coming forward is beginning to decline as the breeding season swings into full stride and this was reflected in the prices, with the better quality sheep achieving top prices.

sheep prices

There was a smaller sale of sheep in Baltinglass mart on Saturday with 2,500 sheep on offer, according to the Mart Manager Joe Kinsella.

According to Kinsella, the trade for store lambs remains strong especially for the lighter lots, but the prices being achieved for the heavier butcher and factory type lambs has slipped on previous weeks.

Store lambs in the Wicklow venue remained in good demand with lambs weighing 30-35kg making from €67-80/head.

However, despite the relatively good trade for these lighter lots, their heavier counterparts have slipped by €1-3/head.

Kinsella added, that a lot of the forward and finished lots are struggling to break the €100 mark, with lambs weighing 55-56kg trading from €100-103 each.

However, despite the slip in finished and factory lots, the trade for breeding sheep remains strong.

The mart manager added that the demand for hogget ewes remains good with Suffolk crosses (Greyfaced ewes) selling from €140-175/head and the Cheviot hogget ewes selling to a tops of €165/head.

There were also plenty of buyers for the older (2-4 year old) Cheviot lots and these lots made from €115-160 while the Suffolk crosses were a little easier as the quality lots have been sold in previous weeks.

The trade for ewe lambs was very much dependent on quality, according to Kinsella, with these lots trading from €2.33-2.67/kg.

There was also a strong trade for cast ewes with the hammer falling on these lots from €48-80/head.

Lambs were also back on previous weeks in Dowra Mart on Friday, according to the Mart Manager Terry McGovern.

According to McGovern, the store lambs were not any dearer than previous weeks with the light store lambs (<30kg) trading from €50-65.

The better quality stores sold from €70-85/head, while very few factory and finished lots passed through the ring.

However, despite the small number of factory lambs on offer, ewe lambs sold well with the top lot making €108/head.

Further to the demand for ewe lambs, McGovern added that the prices achieved for breeding sheep were a little better than previous weeks.

The hogget ewes in the Cavan venue traded from €130-180 while the light mountain types sold from €90-130/head.

Cast ewes also met with good demand, the hammer fell on the best of the factory ewes from €107-108, the feeder type ewes sold from €60-80/head and the light mountain types traded from €35-55/head.

Kilkenny Mart also had a smaller sale of sheep with 750 on offer, according to the Auctioneer George Candler.

According to Candler, the trade continued to remain tricky for the butcher and factor type lots which sold for €1.70-2.02/kg and €1.95-2.20/kg respectively.

However, the trade for the store lambs continued to hold well with the hammer falling on these lots from €2.05-2.15/kg.

Cull ewe prices remained similar to previous weeks, he added, with the top lots making €115/head, these lots generally sold from €45-115/head.

There was a good trade for store lambs in Raphoe Mart on Monday, according to the Mart Manager Anne Harkin.

According to Harkin, these lots generally sold from €35-49 over, which is an increase of €2-5/head on previous weeks.

However, the trade for factory lots had eased slightly on previous weeks with these lots making €40-55 over while the butcher lots traded from €42 over.

There was also a good demand for cast ewes with the hammer falling on these lots from €50-112, while the selection of hoggets on offer sold from €114-162/head, added Harkin.

There were 1,350 sheep on offer in Cahir Mart on Wednesday, according to the Mart Manager Jonathan O’Sullivan.

According to O’Sullivan, there was a smashing trade for all lots with butcher lambs generally selling for €2/kg while the tops lot sold for €55 over.

There was also a good trade for the factory lots, said O’Sullivan, with these lots making from €2.00-2.24/kg.

O’Sullivan added that there was an exceptional trade for store lambs with the tops of these lots selling for €60 over while the best of the breeding hoggets on offer traded for €160-170/head.