Roscrea Mart’s sheep sale on Wednesday witnessed a firm appetite from butcher and wholesale buyers for top-quality fleshed lambs.
A selection of heavier lambs weighing from 50kg liveweight to as high as 58kg generated active bidding, with prices for these lambs ranging from €168 to a top of €174 paid for a pen of super-quality lambs weighing 58kg.
A selection of lambs weighing 48kg to 50kg sold from €150 to €160 on average, with a couple of lots of aged and plainer-quality lambs in this weight bracket falling below the €150 mark.
The trade for factory weight lambs weighing 43kg to 46kg was affected somewhat from the recent pressure on factory prices, but Central Auctions manager Michael Harty said demand remained solid, with agents keen to get their hands on similar numbers.
Prices for these lambs averaged in the region of €140 to €148, with a couple of lots of 43kg lambs with a lower cover of flesh or kill-out potential selling back to €136.
There was only a handful of hoggets on offer, with quality mixed. Hoggets weighed from 50kg to 80kg, with prices following an equally wide range from €130 to €160.
Solid cull ewe trade
Michael commented that sheep farmers are having a positive year to date, with early lamb producers getting the majority of their lambs away without a collapse in price for the first year in some time.
Their mood is also helped by an excellent cull ewe trade, with prices for heavy ewes particularly sharp and ranging from €170 to €183 for a few lots of large-framed heavy ewes weighing from 100kg to 110kg.
Lighter ewes weighing in the region of 80kg to 90kg sold from €130 to €140, with ewes in the mid-70kg to 80kg weight range selling from €120 to €128.