Reports from mart sales in recent days have been dominated by the record prices paid for spring lambs. A number of sales witnessed small numbers of lambs meeting exceptionally strong butcher demand and prices exceeding €200/head.
Other marts with a strong butcher and wholesale trade also set price records, with choice lots selling from €180 to €195.
The trade for heavier lambs is being boosted by a strong hogget trade
Prices are highly variable between sales and subject to quality and demand.
Prices for lambs weighing 40kg to 44kg have been recorded anywhere from €150 to €170 on average and, as explained above, have reached must higher levels in some sales.
The trade for heavier lambs is being boosted by a strong hogget trade and the possibility for agents to trade lambs at hogget prices. This is witnessing heavier lambs weighing in excess of 50kg trading on average from €170 to €180.
Reports on the hogget trade have been more variable. In general, the trade is steady, but some sales did record hogget prices easing by €2 to €3 per head. Fleshed hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg continue to trade from €165 to €175, with select lots remaining capable of selling to €180 per head.
The cull ewe trade continues to be driven by buyers purchasing ewes for the export market
Hoggets weighing 47kg to 49kg are also selling in a wide price differential, ranging anywhere from €150 for lots with an average cover of flesh to €165 to €170 for the top-quality lots. Reports indicate there is more life entering the trade for hoggets as the week progresses with buying for Ramadan kicking in.
The cull ewe trade continues to be driven by buyers purchasing ewes for the export market. Large-framed well-fleshed ewes weighing in excess of 90kg are trading from €140 to €180 for the best-quality types, while ewes weighing 80kg to 85kg are trading from €110 to €135 on average.
Average-quality ewes weighing 70kg to 80kg range in price from €90 to €120, while Scottish Blackface ewes weighing 50kg are trading from €55 to €65 and up to €70 to €85 for larger-framed fleshed types.
The trade for ewes with lambs at foot is solid. Twin lamb lots range from €240 to €280 on average for the better-quality outfits, with aged ewes and poor-quality lambs back to €160 to €180. Single lamb lots range from as low as €110 to €130 for small-framed ewes to the typical price of €150 to €180 and as high as €200 or more for young ewes.