Athenry Mart in Co Galway recorded a flying trade on Monday, with lamb prices rising on average by €3 to €6/head, while cull ewes increased by €10 to €15/ head and as high as €20 in cases.

A strong entry of 1,500 lambs offered across about 120 lots failed to satisfy an insatiable demand from factory agents and wholesale or butcher buyers.

Prices paid for top-quality, fleshed lambs were up to €10 higher for heavy lambs, with the €170 mark exceeded on four occasions, with lambs weighing 59kg to 60kg selling to a top of €177/head.

Another 20 lots weighing from 51kg to 56kg but in the main from 53kg to 55kg sold from €160 to €169/head.

Price ranges

A similar number of pens weighing in the main from 50kg to 53kg sold from €150 to €159, with a couple of pens of heavier but lesser-quality lots in this price range.

A price range of €140 to €149/head accounted for the majority of lambs weighing 47kg to 49kg, while fleshed lambs weighing 45kg to 47kg sold from €133 to €138.

Lighter lots weighing 41kg to 44kg sold on average from €124 to €128, with a handful of batches weighing 40kg to 41kg selling from €110 to €120 depending on flesh cover.

A small number of plainer-quality light store lambs with poor weight for age and weighing from 30kg to 36kg sold from €1.95/kg to €2.40/kg on average.

The ewe trade was on fire. Quality, fleshed ewes weighing upwards of 90kg to 95kg sold from €158 to €176, significantly ahead of equivalent factory prices offered to individual sellers.

A small number of ewes exceeding the 100kg mark sold to a top of €190 per head. While a few heavy, fleshed rams sold from €160 to €185.

Lighter fleshed ewes weighing 81kg to 88kg sold on average from €134 for large-framed crossbred types to €156 for quality continental-bred ewes.

Ewes weighing from 73kg to 78kg sold anywhere from €114 to €128.

A handful of batches lacking flesh and weighing 60kg to 67kg sold from €70 to €86/head.

In pictures

These fleshed Charollais-cross lambs weighing 55kg sold for €167 each (€3.04/kg).

Weighing 57kg, these Charollais-cross lambs sold for €164 each (€2.88/kg).

These lambs weighing 57kg but possessing a slightly lower cover of flesh sold for €160 each (€2.81/kg).

These Charollais-cross and Texel-cross lambs weighing 52kg sold for €156 each (€3/kg).

This batch of seven Charollais lambs weighing 48kg sold for €150 each (€3.13/kg).

These Texel-cross lambs weighing 46kg sold for €139 each (€3.02/kg).

These Charollais-cross lambs weighing 47kg sold for €144 each (€3.06/kg).

These Charollais-cross and Suffolk-cross lambs weighing 48kg sold for €144 each (€3/kg).

These mixed breed ewes weighing 87kg sold for €148 each (€1.70/kg).

This batch of 13 Suffolk-cross ewes weighing 83kg sold for €125 each (€1.51/kg).

These 30 well-fleshed cull ewes weighing 96kg sold for €170 each (€1.77/kg).

These Suffolk ewe lambs weighing 45.5kg sold for €132 each (€2.90/kg).

These well-fleshed lambs weighing 51kg sod for €160 each (€3.14/kg).

Weighing 42kg, this batch of mixed-breed lambs sold for €126 each (€3/kg).

Weighing 52.5kg, this mixed breed batch of lambs sold for €158 each (€3.01/kg).

These quality Charollais-cross lambs weighing 53kg sold for €164 each (€3.09/kg).

These Charollais-cross lambs weighing 53kg sold for €165 (€3.11/kg).

Four ewes weighing 84kg sold for €142 each (€1.69/kg). Two ewes weighing 102kg sold for €190 each (€1.86/kg).

These fleshed ewes weighing 85kg sold for €156 each (€1.84/kg).

These Suffolk-cross and crossbred ewes weighing 67kg and with an average cover of flesh sold for €80 each (€1.19/kg).

These purebred Texel and Suffolk cull ewes weighing 89kg sold for €171 each (€1.92/kg).

This mixed breed batch of ewes weighing 88kg sold for €145 each (€1.65/kg).

Weighing 52kg, these quality Charollais-cross lambs sold for €163 (€3.14/kg).

These Charollais-cross ewe lambs weighing 41.5kg sold for €119 each (€2.87/kg).