Milford Mart in Co Donegal recorded another roaring trade in its fortnightly sheep sale on Monday night.

Manager John Stewart reported that all classes of sheep recorded significant price increases from the previous sale, with demand for hoggets, cull ewes and lambs outstripping supplies.

Hoggets were upwards of €5 to €10 dearer, with prices running well ahead of equivalent factory quotes.

Heavier lowland hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg sold in the main from €215 to €235, with a top call of €248 for 66kg ewe hoggets.


There was a noticeable increase in ewe hoggets coming on stream

Heavy horned lambs sold from €200 to €218 on average.

Lighter lots weighing from 44kg to 48kg sold €190 to €210, depending on type and flesh cover, with crossbred hoggets at the lower end of this price range.

There was just shy of 20 batches of lambs on offer, with demand for such boosted by tight hogget supplies.

Heavier lambs weighing 48kg to 56kg sold from €222 to €236.

Lots weighing 44kg to 47kg sold in the main from €208 to €218, while a couple of batches weighing 41kg to 43kg sold from €180 to €188.

Cull ewe trade on fire

The trade for cull ewes was on fire. Lighter fleshed ewes were possibly the dearest on the night, with top prices for fleshed lowland ewes weighing 60kg to 75kg ranging from as high €2.60/kg to upwards of €3/kg.

The general run of prices paid for fleshed ewes was in the region of €2.15/kg to €2.50/kg.

It is clear that higher numbers of ewes are being marketed live, with mart prices well ahead of factory returns.

It is hard to put a price range on ewes with lambs at foot, with quality hugely variable.

Aged and crossbred ewes with young twin lambs at foot sold from €200 to €250, with horned types back to €150 and young lowland ewes to in excess of €330.

Single lamb lots sold in as wide a range as a little over €100 for hill types to in excess of €300 for a young ewe with a strong lamb at foot, with a significant cohort ranging from €130 to €195.

The upturn in the weather forecast has inserted more life into the trade for ewes with lambs at foot, with more buyers active this week.

In pictures

These two Scottish Blackface hogget rams weighing 57kg sold for €212 each (€3.72/kg).

This batch of 26 mixed breed ewe hoggets weighing 45kg sold for €193 (€4.29/kg).

These three heavier lambs weighing 49kg sold for €232 (€4.74/kg).

This batch of 10 Charollais-cross and Texel-cross lambs weighing 46kg sold for €212 each (€4.61/kg).

Weighing 41kg, this batch of nine Charollais-cross and Suffolk-cross lambs sold for €184 (€4.49/kg).

This batch of five fleshed cull ewes weighing 78kg sold for €176 (€2.26/kg).

This pair of Texel cull ewes averaging 74kg sold for €190 (€2.57/kg).

This batch of four Cheviot dry ewes weighing 60kg sold for €188 each (€3.13/kg).

These seven aged Scottish Blackface ewes and 14 Mule lambs sold for €160 per unit.

This crossbred ewe and her aged lamb averaging 50.5kg sold for €315.

Two large-framed full mouth ewes and their three lambs at foot sold for €215 per unit.

Weighing 83kg, these two Scottish Blackface rams sold for €150 each (€1.81/kg).

Weighing 46kg, this batch of eight lambs sold for €212 each (€4.61/kg).

This heavy Suffolk lamb weighing 58kg sold for €226 (€3.90/kg).

This batch of Suffolk-cross and Texel-cross lambs weighing 44kg sold for €210 (€4.77/kg).

This heavy lamb weighing 57kg sold for €236 (€4.14/kg).

This batch of three lighter Suffolk-cross lambs weighing 39kg sold for €170 each (€4.46/kg).

This pair of Suffolk lambs weighing 49kg sold for €222 (€4.53/kg).

These seven mixed breed ewe hoggets weighing 41kg sold for €174 (€4.24/kg).

This light black-fleeced cull ewe weighing 46kg sold for €120 (€2.61/kg).

This 98kg Texel ram declared correct for breeding sold for €230.

This third crop ewe and Charollais-cross lamb at foot weighing an average of 50.5kg sold for €285.

This Milford-cross ewe correct on one side and her lamb weighing a total of 95kg sold for €105.

This batch of 16 Mule ewe hoggets weighing 44kg sold for €190 each (€4.32/kg).