The second of this year’s breeding sheep sales in Ballymena Mart on Saturday saw mule hoggets selling to a top price of £275.

Overall, trade was notably slower than the Suffolk Cheviot sale which was held the previous week and average prices were down on the same sale in 2021.

Mule and Greyface hoggets averaged £163, a decrease of £30 from last year’s sale. There was a huge entry of 4,883 sheep and an 85% clearance rate was recorded through the ring.

As Figure 1 indicates, this year’s Mule Greyface average is also £10 behind the same sale in 2020 but is around £13 higher than the average prices seen in the three years before that.

The top-priced pen on Saturday was exhibited by D and S McKay. The second highest price of £240 was paid twice for pens shown by W Byers and S Wilson.

Far ring

A sharper trade was seen in the far ring where 700 Suffolk Cheviot and Continental cross ewe lambs were sold off. A top price of £260 was paid to I and A Wilson for a single show lamb. The highest priced pen of ewe lambs was exhibited by D and D Robinson and made £252.

Overall, ewe lambs averaged £148, which is down £4 from the same sale last year. As Figure 2 shows, this year’s average ewe lamb price is still on a par with 2020 and is well ahead of the average recorded in all years before that.

£190 was paid for this pen of hoggets. \ Houston Green

This pen fetched £210. \ Houston Green

This prizewinning pen of Greyface hoggets made £200. \ Houston Green

The hammer dropped at £166 for these Mules.

This pen of well presented Mules sold for £170.

These plainer-faced hoggets sold for £132.

This pen sold for £180. \ Houston Green