Throughput in marts continues to be boosted by higher than normal entries of ewe hoggets.

Mart managers report that some producers, particularly those operating dry hogget enterprises, are cautious about market prospects in breeding sales next autumn and moving lower grade hoggets now.

There are also other producers with lambing flocks reassessing the quality of hoggets on hand and drafting those they are not overly happy with to generate cashflow.

Fleshed hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg are generally selling from €160 to €168, with heavier lots and some top-quality ewe hoggets rising to the low-€170s.

Spring lamb prices are strongly influenced by lamb weight, flesh cover and kill out potential.

Lambs weighing 42kg to 45kg are trading on average from €153 to €162, with small numbers in this weight category exceeding this range.

Meanwhile, heavier lambs weighing from 46kg to 49kg are selling from upwards of €160 for plainer-quality or aged lambs to the low- to mid-€170s for top-quality young, tight-woolled lambs.

The trade for cull ewes is solid, with demand recovering after a slight lull in the previous week. Prices paid for heavy ewes weighing 95kg to 100kg upwards range anywhere from €180 to €230 or €240/head, with select lots of exceptional-quality ewes still capable of hitting higher.

Ewes weighing 80kg to 85kg are selling in a wider price differential from €120 to €170, with quality again variable.

Likewise, lighter ewes weighing 70kg to 75kg are selling from under the €100 mark for lots lacking flesh to €120 to €130 for better-quality ewes.

Putting a price on ewes with lambs at foot is an even harder proposition than at the start of the season due to some ewes appearing with strong lambs aged six to eight weeks of age.

Twin-lamb lots comprising aged ewes and young lambs remain in a price range of €200 to €240 on average, with younger ewes and units with large-framed ewes and strong lambs rising to upwards of €300 per unit.

Hill ewes with Scotch lambs at foot are trading anywhere from €150 to €220, with age and quality again paramount.

Single lamb lots are starting at €100 to €120 for Scotch types and rising to over €200 for lowland units with young ewes or good-quality lambs.