Monday’s sheep sale in Cork Marts’ Corrin centre in Fermoy, Co Cork, recorded a 100% clearance across an entry of 450 sheep.
While prices were back a few euro for lambs, they did not fall to the same extent as the price pull in factories.
Manager Sean Leahy explained that this was due to solid demand from butchers and wholesalers, with these buyers underpinning the trade.
Sean also noted that the quality of lambs on offer was excellent and this ensured high levels of competition between buyers.
Quality lambs weighing 47kg to 52kg sold from €164 to €176 on average, with a top call of €180 for a pen of super-quality lambs.
Sean says the higher prices have been attracting lambs at lighter liveweights to sales in recent weeks.
Lambs weighing 39kg to 40kg sold from €140 to €146 on average, with lambs weighing 41kg to 42kg selling from €144 to €152 on average.
Hogget quality has become mixed, with numbers falling off fast.
Good demand for quality
However, there is still good demand for a quality hogget, reflected in the fact that €180 was paid for a pen of 52.7kg Charollais hoggets.
Other lots weighing over 50kg and very heavy hoggets weighing upwards of 70kg sold from €164 to €174 on average.
Light hoggets weighing 44kg to 48kg sold from €128 to €152, with quality determining price.
There was a handful of ewes sold individually with twin lambs at foot.
Quality was hugely variable and this was reflected in price.
Three aged full- and broken-mouth ewes with average-quality lambs at foot sold for €130, €135 and €140.
There were buyers willing to compete for quality outfits and this was evident in the prices paid for the other two outfits.
A three-year-old ewe with young twin lambs at foot sold for €250, while a strong Texel ewe with two quality Texel ewe lambs sold for €300.
The intense heat in the cull ewe trade in recent weeks has subsided.
Ewes remain a fine trade, with prices for fleshed heavy ewes weighing upwards of 95kg ranging from €140 to €150 in the main and to a top of €158 for quality ewes weighing 102kg.
Prices for ewes weighing 85kg to 95kg range from €128 to €135 on average, with select lots hitting €140, while 70kg to 78kg ewes range from €105 to €125, depending on flesh cover.
There was also a handful of rams traded and, again, quality was mixed.
Three good Charollais rams sold from €140 to €145, while a Suffolk ram weighing 90kg sold for €120 and a lighter ram weighing 70kg sold for €90.