While mart prices have trended downwards over the last week - influenced by factory price pressure - the extent to which prices have fallen varies significantly between sales.

Marts with tighter supplies and a strong presence of butcher or wholesale buyers have withstood the price pressure better, while a couple of marts witnessed renewed purchasing from live export buyers on Wednesday.

Top-quality fleshed lambs weighing from 49kg to upwards of 52kg are trading anywhere from €195 to €210, with sales recording the sharpest trade witnessing select lots of excellent-quality butcher-type lambs rising to €215 and in isolated cases to €220.


There is more variation as you drop down in the weight, with potential slaughter performance having a greater bearing on price.

In some sales, lambs weighing 45kg to 46kg have averaged in the region of €170 to €180, while, in others, similar weight lambs have sold in the main from €180 to €190 and even higher for fleshed ram lambs.

There is also a differential within sales of upwards of €7 to €10/head for lambs of an equivalent weight but varying level of flesh cover.

This has witnessed lambs weighing 43kg to 44kg trading from the low-€160s to the low-€170s in sales with less bite to the trade and from €172 to €184 in sales with low entries and demand outstripping supply.


Hogget numbers have fallen to very low levels, but any lots entered are still selling ok.

Hoggets weighing around the 50kg to 55kg mark and not suitable for retaining as replacements are trading from €185/head to €195, depending on flesh cover.

The mart remains a good outlet for sellers with small numbers who are struggling to negotiate with factories.

The ewe trade is steady, with a high percentage of heavy fleshed ewes trading from €1.90/kg to €2.15/kg, with choice lots rising to €2.25/kg to €2.35/kg, although numbers are small.

Plainer-quality and ewes lacking flesh are selling from €1.60/kg to €1.80/kg, with fleshed hill ewes anywhere from €1.40/kg to €1.70/kg and back to €1/kg for light average-quality types.