The trade for lambs at last Thursday’s sale in Loughrea Mart, Co Galway, was described by mart manager Jimmy Cooney as being solid and helped by ongoing strong demand from butcher and wholesale buyers.
Jimmy said the fact that there was an entry of quality lambs with a good cover of flesh capitalised on this demand and generated high levels of competition.
This resulted in fleshed lambs weighing upwards of 47kg selling from €102 to €107 over the weight on average, with top prices recorded at €154 to €155 per head.
Factory agent demand kicked in for slightly plainer-quality or mixed-weight lots that butchers and wholesalers lacked interest in, with prices upwards of €95 over the weight.
Factory agents were the main customers for lighter lambs weighing 43kg to 46kg, although butcher and wholesale demand was present for select excellent-quality lots.
Prices for the general run of lambs in this weight bracket ranged from €93 to €98 over the weight, with the best-quality types attracting butcher or wholesale buyer interest rising to €100 to €102 over the weight.
At the other end of the spectrum, a small number of pens lacking flesh sold back to €85 to €87 over the weight.
There were only a small number of lots weighing 42kg and under and, again, there was a significant variation in price depending on quality.
Young and fleshed lambs weighing 40kg to 41kg and with a good kill-out potential sold from €133 to €138, with a couple of lots of what would be better described as store lambs selling back to €125 to €128.
Jimmy says there was only one pen of out and out stores, with a small batch of mixed-quality lambs weighing 34kg selling for €94.
Cull ewes continue to meet an excellent trade, with prices for heavy fleshed ewes running €30 to €50 above the comparable period in 2020.
Large-framed ewes weighing upwards of 90kg sold from €150 to €170 on average, with a selection of first-rate ewes selling to a top price of €183.
Medium-weight ewes weighing 80kg to 85kg sold from €120 to €140, depending on condition, with lighter fleshed ewes back to €100/head.
There were only small numbers of ewes below the €100 mark, typically plain-quality ewes lacking flesh.