Tullow Mart in Co Carlow recorded an excellent trade for another dispersal sale of 140 top-quality two-, three- and four-year-old Suffolk-Cheviot-cross, Suffolk-cross and Charollais-cross ewes on Tuesday.

Ewes were offered in 13 lots and grouped on type, with most lots containing a mix of ewe ages.

These speckled-headed ewes including some two-year-olds were carrying seven twins, one triplet and two single lambs and sold for €220.

Bidding was brisk, with the sale conducted in about 15 minutes and ewes averaging a fine price of €217.

One lot of aged ewes fell below the €200 mark and sold at €190, with the remainder ranging from €200 to €230.

This lot including six carrying twin lambs, three singles and one triplet sold for €225.

Demand was helped by the fact ewes were carrying an average litter size of 1.9 lambs and were not far from lambing, with the first ewes due to lamb on 5 March.

The blacker-type Suffolk ewes were in lamb to a Charollais ram, while the whiter-speckled and Charollais ewes were in lamb to a Texel ram.

These mainly three-year-old Charollais-cross ewes with seven carrying twins, one triplet and two singles sold for €200.

Mart manager Eric Driver said the trade for a number of dispersal sales held in the mart this year has been positive, with extra buyers interested where they know it is a genuine clearance and ewes are not being sold for any fault.

There was also another dispersal sale of about 40 ewes held on the day.

The quality of ewes on offer was more variable and included a high percentage of aged ewes, with a later lambing date of 1 April onwards also not helping demand. Prices here ranged from €144 to €160.

These Suffolk-cross ewes with six carrying twin lambs, three singles and one triplet sold for €215.

The trade for hoggets increased by €2 to €4 on the week with well-fleshed hoggets weighing 49kg to 54kg selling from €148 to €154 for the best-quality fleshed lots on offer, with lots of a similar weight but possibly having less of a cover of flesh selling from €140 upwards.

Lighter lots weighing 46kg to 48kg sold on average from €134 to €144, with quality again dictating price.

A highlight of the sale was a price of €160 paid for Cheviot ewes weighing 100kg, with other similar weight ewes ranging from €125 to €150.

This batch of 11 Suffolk ewes including seven ewes carrying twins, two triplets and two singles sold for €225.