There is a much brighter tone to this week’s sheep trade, with factory quotes increasing in cases by 5c/kg to 10c/kg, while there is more life in the mart trade, with prices increasing by €2 to €5 per head.

Factory quotes continue to range in the main from €6/kg to €6.10/kg, with Kildare Chilling the main movers lifting its quote for Monday by 10c/kg to a base of €6.20/kg plus 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus.

Lambs trading from sellers with little negotiating power are starting in general at €6.20/kg for QA sheep and rising to €6.30/kg in Kildare Chilling.

Producers with greater negotiating power are pushing returns to €6.35/kg to €6.40/kg, while, at the top end of the market, prices are reported as hitting €6.50/kg for lambs achieving conformation bonuses or the equivalent when allowances on transport are factored into the price.

Kilkenny Mart

Kilkenny Mart auctioneer George Candler reported prices in Monday’s sale increasing by €2 to €5 per head and a full clearance of the 700 sheep on offer.

Heavier lambs weighing in excess of 48kg received the greatest boost, with prices for lambs weighing 48kg to 53kg ranging from €132 to a top of €140 per head.

Lighter lots weighing 42kg to 46kg sold from €114 to €128, while store lambs weighing 36kg to 41kg sold around the €100 per head mark.

Cull ewes were a fantastic trade, with top prices rising to €220.

Ennis Mart

Ennis Mart also recorded a livelier trade in Monday’s sale, with prices increasing by a similar figure of up to €5/head.

Heavier lots weighing upwards of 48kg sold from €129 to €138 on average, with fleshed lambs weighing 42kg to 46kg trading in the main from €122 to €128.

A handful of lots lacking flesh and lighter types weighing back to 40kg sold from €114 to €120.

There was also a good appetite for store lambs, with several lots of lambs weighing 35kg to 36.5kg selling from €103 to €107 for well-presented quality lots.