Tightening supplies of hoggets at marts is putting the spotlight on spring lambs, as factory agents look to make up the shortfall of smaller numbers of hoggets.

Many mart managers have been reporting to Agriland that prices for spring lambs have taken an upturn this week, with prices for fleshed lambs breaking the €170/head mark more frequently.

This improvement in the spring lamb trade comes at a time where factories have made moves to tempt numbers out by increasing prices.

Hogget numbers over the past fortnight have tightened significantly and at some marts, have become quite small.

This tightening of hogget supplies has come quite quick and has forced factory agents into putting greater emphasis on spring lambs and as such, we see the bump up in the trade.

Relatively small numbers of spring lambs at marts are adding to the trade and also putting more life into it.

Lambs weighing 46kg or more are selling from €158/head up to €167-168/head, with some lots pushing €170-172/head.

50kg plus lambs are selling generally at a base of €166-168/head and making up to €170-174/head, with some marts, in cases, seeing prices above this level.

Lambs in the 40-44kg weight bracket are generally trading from €145-150/head up to €160/head, with lambs possessing good flesh covers rising above this level also to €165-168/head for 42-44kg lambs.

Lambs weighing less than 40kg are generally starting from a base of €125-130/head for light 33-35kg lambs up to €140-145/head for 37-39kg lambs.