There were reduced numbers of sales in the past week as a result of fewer marts taking place. In addition, Tuesday’s announcement of the closure of livestock marts will have a major knock-on effect for farmers in the coming weeks.

Heavy butchers’ hoggets have seen prices hold reasonably well. Those over 50kg are selling mainly from €122 to €130/head. Prices at the upper end are now running about €3/head behind the same time last week. The high prices seen a few weeks ago are not as easily attained now. With sales now closed, butcher buyers are said to be actively seeking numbers, with some marts trying to facilitate.

Factory demand has been strong, with fewer mart sales taking place. Prices of factory lambs have strengthened slightly in the past week. The slippage seen last week has been replaced with a slight rebound in prices as agents secure supplies. Those from 45kg to 50kg are selling mainly from €118/head to €125/head, with prices of up to €130/head at some sales. This is up by about €5 to €7/head on last week’s levels and by up to €10/head in some sales. Hoggets from 42kg to 44kg range mainly from €107 to €110/head, with some over €111/head, which is steady on last week’s trade.

Store lambs have been met with a steady trade also, with buyers active for all types. Improved weather was the main reason for the slightly improved demand. Short-keep store hoggets around 40kg are selling mainly from €92 to €98/head, with tops of €100/head being recorded.

Those from 35kg to 38kg are selling mainly from €83 to €90/head, with some sales recording prices of up to €95/head, which is about the same as last week and some sales seeing slightly higher prices.

Lighter store hoggets from 30kg to 35kg are up, with prices averaging from €75 to €85/head and some prices of over €87/head still being recorded. Again, prices of these light stores are back on par with where they were a few weeks ago. Cull ewes are selling mainly from €90 to €130/head at most sales.