Plenty of farmers are looking to buy store lambs as well as ewe lambs and are driving the trade of late at marts, according to many mart managers.
Mart sales have been growing in size over the last few weeks as farmers begin to market breeding sheep and more store lambs continue to come on stream.
The trade for finished lambs last week hit a bump with factories pulling quotes by 20c/kg at the start of last week. Although, towards the end of last week, mart managers reported the trade for finished lamb firming up.
Looking at the trade, factory lambs, in the main, continue to sell from €117-120/head up as far as €128-130/head, with heavier lambs, of butcher and wholesaler interest, seeing prices of €130-138/head in general, with some hitting highs of nearly €150/head as seen at Enniscorthy Mart last Wednesday.
A solid store lamb trade continues to be seen, with good quality lots hitting the €3.00/kg mark and over in cases.
Foward stores, in the main, have been selling from €105/head up to €115/head for 38-40kg plus lambs.
While lambs in the 28-37kg weight bracket have generally been making anywhere from €75-80/head up to €95-104/head.
Ewe lambs are really catching the eye at marts and farmers, so far, have not been afraid to spend big to get what they want.
In Tuam last Tuesday (August 10), two quality pens of Suffolk ewe lambs weighing 48.5kg sold for €178/head and €170/head respectively.
At Dowra Mart on Friday (August 13), some very impressive prices were seen for ewe lambs, with one pen of 38kg ewe lambs selling for €157/head or €4.13/kg. Another pen of 34.5kg ewe lambs sold for €146/head.
At Roscommon Mart last Wednesday (August 9), Agriland watched over the trade and witnessed prices well over €3.00/kg for nice quality ewe lambs, with one pen of nice, even Suffolk ewe lambs weighing 42.5kg making €137/head, or €3.22/kg.
Going on what was seen last week, ewe lambs weighing anywhere from 30kg up to 50kg have been making from €105-110/head up to €150-160/head.
The cull ewe trade remains solid, with top prices for heavy ewes continuing to hit €170-180/head, with again some marts reporting prices of up to €200/head for 100kg plus ewes.
Looking at the trade for hogget ewes, prices for top-quality lots at marts last week ranged from €190/head up to €230/head in general, with some marts seeing prices fetch €285/head for hogget ewes, as seen at Roscommon Mart on Saturday just gone by (August 14).
At the other end of the scale, lesser quality hoggets have been selling back to €140-150/head.