Farmers at Carnew Mart were very happy with the trade at the Aughrim Sheep Breeders Annual Show and Sale on Friday 3 September.

What do you make of the sheep trade this year?

John Malone, Roundwood, Co Wicklow: "So far this year, sheep trade has been good, there’s been a strong trade all year, especially for fat lambs, and all classes of lambs - store lambs. The breeding stock now are starting off exceptionally well. There’s some very strong prices here today in Carnew."

Alan Kinsella, Carnew, Co Wicklow: “This year has been a phenomenal year for sheep farmers. It’s a year that we’ve waited for, for a long time."

Pat Dunne, Glenmalure, Co Wicklow: “There certainly seems to be more buoyancy in it this year compared to previous years. The lamb trade seems to be holding its own particularly well, ewe trade seems to have eased back a bit at the moment, but still going well. Farmers are a lot more upbeat this year because of it."

Padraig Healy, Aughrim, Co Wicklow: “It’s been very positive. Lambs seem to be up €20 to €25/head on last year. You’d have to say it’s been a good year so far anyway.”

Christie McHenry from Ballycastle.

Christie McHenry, Ballycastle, Co Antrim: “It’s exceptional at the minute so it is, but there’s as much to buy as there is to sell.”

What do you think of the prices at breeding sales?

John Malone: “Farmers are very happy with breeding sales prices at the moment. Speckled face hoggets have all been up around €250 to €290. There have been some exceptional prices for Cheviot hoggets here today, with €300 being got for top-quality hoggets. Some ewe lambs here today have reached some very strong prices as well, €140 to €150. Speckled ewe lambs even reached €270. Very strong prices for stock here today.”

Alan Kinsella: “The hogget ewes got off to a great start. They have eased somewhat in the last fortnight, but, still, strong Suffolk-cross hogget ewes are making well over the €200 mark.”

Pat Dunne: “There is certainly a decent trade at breeding sales and there seems to be a good turn of money in them for people this year.”

Padraig Healy: “Prices at breeding sales have been very, very good, exceptional in some cases, depending on the quality of the lambs. Good lambs are making very good prices.”

What do you think of the bounce in lamb price this week?

John Malone: “It’s good to see the lift in the factories and to see the fat lambs selling well. With the price of meal and inputs, it’s all needed, so we hope it continues.”

Alan Kinsella: “It’s great to see it. It means that the farmers who bought the store lambs in June and July are making great money now and those lambs are only coming off grass. It has meant a quick turnaround on those lambs for the farmers.”

Pat Dunne: “Prices are holding well in the factories, which is always a good thing. Other years, we would have seen factory prices dipping at this time of the year, whereas this year they’re holding their own, so that’s very positive. It’s a domino effect really, if the prices go down in the factories, it is felt all the way to the store lambs.”

Padraig Healy: “The bounce in factory lamb prices is very welcome. Normally, there’s a dip this time of the year and it's unusual and very welcome for it to go in a positive direction this time of the year.”

Christie McHenry: “It’s good to see the increase in lamb prices in the south, and they’re only going to get dearer; lambs are getting scarce.”