Sheep prices continue to regain lost ground from the fall in prices experienced a few weeks ago.

Top prices are not far off the levels recorded before the dip in the trade, with reports of regular sellers securing an additional 5c/kg for large batches of lambs.

This puts top prices at €6.40/kg to €6.45/kg, with some higher prices also recorded if allowances on transport costs are factored into the price.

Last week’s lift in price at the top end of the market has also trickled back down along the trade.

Sellers handling smaller numbers but trading on a regular basis are securing €6.30/kg to €6.35/kg, while prices paid to producers with low negotiating power are generally upwards of €6.15/kg to €6.20/kg for quality assured lamb.

Higher numbers

The increase in price is attracting higher numbers on to the market.

This can also be seen in higher entries in mart sales in some areas.

Price reports from marts held over the weekend and on Monday are generally positive, with some sales up €1 to €2 per head.

Kilkenny sale

Kilkenny Mart reports a smaller entry of 300 head boosting competition.

Hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg sold from €140 to €144 for lots weighing 50kg to 54kg, with a few lots of heavier hoggets weighing from 55kg to 65kg selling from €146 to €149.

This trend has also been replicated in a number of other sales.

Hoggets weighing 47kg to 48kg are trading from €130 to €137, depending on flesh cover, while forward stores weighing 43kg to 45kg are selling from €120 to €128 on average.

Hoggets weighing 35kg to 39kg are selling anywhere from €80 to €90 for crossbred and average-quality lots to in excess of €100 for quality tight-woolled stores.

There is also solid appetite for Scottish Blackface and Cheviot ewe lambs with breeding potential, with prices ranging from €2.80/kg to as high as €3.10/kg and €3.20/kg.

British trade climbing

The trade in Britain has moved upwards again, with the old-season standard quality quotation (SQQ) price increasing by an average of 4p/kg on Monday to £2.73/kg.

The sterling to euro exchange rate stood at 87.6p on Monday evening, leaving this price at the equivalent of €3.12/kg liveweight.

Deadweight prices are solid, with prices recorded at £5.70/kg to £5.80/kg (€6.51/kg to €6.62/kg) or higher in cases.

The trade in Northern Ireland is also robust, with an increasing number of hoggets trading in the region of £5.40/kg to £5.55/kg (€6.16/kg to €6.34/kg).