Sheep sales in Ballinasloe Mart are still recording high levels of throughput for the time of year, with over 130 lots of lambs presented at last Thursday’s sale.
A significant percentage of these were store lambs and mart manager Ailish Curley said the buoyant trade in previous weeks is serving to attract higher numbers forward.
Practically all lowland store lambs on offer exceeded a price point of €3/kg, with demand outstripping supplies.
Good-quality and well-presented stores sold from €3.10/kg to €3.23/kg on average, with select lots of nice-quality ewe lambs recording prices of €3.40/kg and higher, with the pick of these €132 paid for Mule ewe lambs weighing 38.5kg.
There was demand for all classes of store lambs and light well-presented lowland lambs with no weight displayed but likely to range in weight from 28kg to 32kg, which sold from €90 to upwards of €100/head.
A small selection of crossbred and plainer-quality types weighing shy of 30kg sold from €70 to €85/head, while a couple of pens of light Scottish Blackface ram lambs sold for €64 each.
The trade for ewe lambs with breeding potential was firm and a few pens of good-quality lambs weighing from 45kg to 50kg averaged around the €150 mark.
This was also the price-point on the evening for factory-type lambs weighing 50kg, while a handful of lots sold to a top price of €158 for quality ewe lambs weighing 51kg.
There was about 10 lots of hoggets and breeding ewes, with prices dictated by quality. Hoggets sold in the main from €140 to €170, with a pen of nice-quality Suffolk hoggets attracting keen interest and selling to €194. Second-, third- and fourth-crop ewes sold from €120 to €150.
The entry of cull ewes was also small, which is not surprising given the high numbers of cull ewes which have been traded in recent months. Medium-sized fleshed ewes and feeding-type ewes sold from €90 to €120 per head, with a selection of large-framed fleshed ewes selling for €150 and €170/head.
A couple of entries of light but relatively well-fleshed Scottish Blackface ewes sold around the €60/head mark.