Camera at the Mart attended a special sale of ewes with lambs at foot in Markethill Mart, Co Armagh, on Wednesday last.
Headlining the sale was an entry of 70 ewe and lamb outfits from the flock of Jamie Stephens, Portadown.
Outfits forwarded for sale were a mix of Suffolk-cross-Cheviot hoggets with Texel lambs at foot, Suffolk-cross-Mule hoggets and a consignment of second-, third- and fourth-lambing Suffolk and Texel-cross ewes.
All sheep sold lambed over a three-day window during the second week of December, with 80% of ewes suckling twin lambs.
Commenting on the sale, the owner said all sheep forwarded for sale were genuine animals and being sold as part of a reduction sale after increasing breeding numbers in 2020.
Mart manager Hampton Hewitt said the sale saw tremendous demand from farmers on the back of a strong market for factory-fit hoggets and ewes.
There was a 100% clearance, with prices averaging £268 (€298 ex-VAT).
Prices reached a sale-topping £365 (€405) for Suffolk-cross ewes with twin Texel lambs at foot.
A staggering 28 lots sold above the £300 mark (€333) for Suffolk and Texel ewes with twin lambs at foot, with prices averaging at £322 (€358).
This was followed by a further 18 lots from £250 to £299 (€225 to €332), with the majority of lots again being Suffolk-cross animals with twin Suffolk or Texel-sired lambs at foot.
Twenty-two outfits sold from £200 to £249 (€222 to €224) and consisted mainly of the older ewes or younger outfits with a single lamb at foot.
The remainder of outfits sold below the £200 (€222) mark, with the lowest-priced lot selling at £125 (€138).
Last week saw one of the best trades ever recorded at Markethill for fat sheep.
An entry of 690 fat hoggets sold to an average of £129 (€143), with a top price per kilo of 577p/kg paid (€6.75/kg inc VAT).
Fat ewes sold to a peak of £174 (€193) for fleshed animals, with the main price range running from £110 to £153 (€122 to €170).