Many mart managers report more life in the trade for slaughter-fit lambs.
Buyers are still cautious regarding the price they are willing to pay, but are exhibiting much more interest, with prices creeping up in cases by anywhere from €2 to €4 per head on last week’s returns.
Factory-fit lambs weighing 44kg to 47kg remain at a general price range of €114 to €124 per head, with some better-quality types with a good kill-out potential and heavier lambs weighing 48kg to 50kg-plus selling to €126 to €130.
A significant difference remains between prices paid for factory-type lambs and wholesale butcher-type lambs in sales, with a good wholesale butcher trade.
The strong demand for store lambs is also inserting price competition into the trade for lighter lambs
Fleshed top-quality lambs weighing 50kg to 55kg continue to top the €130 mark, with many lots selling from €130 to €135 and select offerings rising to €138 to €140.
Demand for stores also seems to have stepped up a notch.
Again, lamb quality and presentation are having a big say on price.
The strong demand for store lambs is also inserting price competition into the trade for lighter lambs, which could also potentially be purchased by factory agents.
Forward-type lowland stores weighing from 38kg to 41kg are trading in the main from €95 to €110 per head, with quality influencing price.
Lighter stores weighing 35kg to 36kg are selling in the region of €80 to €92 per head, with crossbred and hill types selling from €2.20/kg to €2.40/kg on average, with better-quality types exceeding this range.
Medium-sized lots are trading from €160 to €175
Reports indicate demand for breeding sheep has been boosted by last week’s Areas of Natural Constraint payment.
The general run of prices for good-quality hoggets continues to range from €180 to €200, with a selection of top-quality hoggets still capable of rising to €220 to €230 per head.
Medium-sized lots are trading from €160 to €175, with light and plainer-quality hoggets back to €150 per head.
The trade for cull ewes has steadied following some price pressure in recent weeks. Heavier ewes are typically selling from €120 to €150 per head, with medium-weight fleshed ewes from €90 to €100 and up.
The strong trade for store lambs is also inserting a floor under the trade for feeding ewes, with prices ranging from €80 to €100 for ewes in average condition and a good mouth.