The mart trade can be best described as steady over the last week.

Agents remain coy in their purchasing behaviour but are reluctant to let sheep home unsold, with deals being completed after the auction process.

The general price range for heavy fleshed lambs weighing upwards of 50kg is from €97 to €102 with the weight.

Small numbers of excellent-quality lots are rising to €105 to €106 with the weight, while, at the opposite end of the quality spectrum, plainer-quality lambs are selling back to €90 to €93 with the weight.

Lambs weighing 47kg to 49kg are averaging from €88 to €96 with the weight, while medium-weight lambs weighing 44kg to 46kg and possessing a nice cover of flesh are trading from €125 to €135 and back to €120 for lots with a lower flesh cover.

Store lambs

The trade for store lambs is steady, with a large differential between prices for short-keep lambs, again depending on flesh cover.

Nice-quality continental-bred lambs are trading from €2.70/kg to €2.90/kg, with plainer-quality types including crossbred lambs selling back to €2.50/kg to €2.60/kg.

Heavier hill lambs are trading from €2.30/kg to €2.55/kg, with light hill lambs continuing to meet a challenging trade and selling on average from €2/kg to €2.30/kg.

Some very light lambs which will struggle to carry weight continue to battle to pass the €2/kg mark, but numbers of such types are reducing.

The cull ewe trade is firm, with many mart managers reporting a tightening in numbers on offer.

Heavy, fleshed ewes weighing upwards of 90kg are selling from €135 to €155 in the main, with good-quality ewes weighing around the 85kg mark selling from €120 to €140/head on average.

Lighter fleshed ewes weighing in the region of 75kg are selling from €90 to €100, with some sales recording prices rising to €105 to €110.

Scottish Blackface ewes and boner-type ewes continue to sell from 70c/kg to €1/kg in the main, with larger-framed ewes a sharper trade and selling to €1.10 to €1.15/kg.