Roscrea Mart in Co Tipperary held its annual special breeding sale in conjunction with the normal weekly sheep sale on Wednesday 30 August.
The trade for an entry of 1,300 sheep was reported as positive across all classes.
An entry of in excess of 500 ewe hoggets and breeding ewes was slightly down on the corresponding sale in 2022, a situation replicated in most special breeding sales held to date in 2023.
This added extra bite to the sale, but Central Auctions mart manager Michael Harty reports that a big factor helping the trade is the continued strong cull ewe trade.
The general run of prices for good-quality hoggets ranged from €180 to €220, with select lots of excellent-quality hoggets rising to €230 and a top price (at time of going to print) of €265/head.
Lighter hoggets possessing good breeding potential sold steadily, with prices ranging from €170 to €180, with small numbers of small-framed hoggets back to €160.
The trade for the aforementioned cull ewes was brisk. Heavy ewes weighing upwards of 90kg sold from €1.90/kg to €2.10/kg, with several lots of 100kg ewes exceeding €200/head.
Medium-weight ewes sold from €1.60/kg to €1.80/kg, with store ewes from €1.50/kg to €1.70/kg.
Well-fleshed lambs are in tight supply, with a number of butcher and wholesale buyers active.
Lambs weighing 50kg to 53kg sold on average from €98 to €102 over the weight, while there were standout prices of €167 for 55kg, €168 for 57kg and €170 for 63kg lambs.
Factory weight lambs weighing 46kg to 48kg sold from €130 to €138, while lighter lots with flesh weighing 44kg to 45kg sold from €120 to €131, with flesh cover dictating prices.
The number of store lambs on offer increased on previous weeks, but so too did demand, with Michael reporting firm interest from a number of cattle farmers coy on purchasing cattle and with surplus grass.
The majority of store lambs sold in a lively trade from €2.60/kg to €2.90/kg.