Ballybay Mart in Co Monaghan recorded a lively trade for an entry of over 1,100 sheep on Tuesday evening.

Manager Adrian Grimes reported factory agents were keen for well-fleshed lambs and willing to drop down in the weights to get their hands on higher numbers.

Lambs weighing 48kg upwards generally sold in the region of €135 to €140, with a few lots rising to the mid-€140s.

Ten lambs (orange stripes) weighing 45kg sold for €126 (€2.80/kg). Eight ram lambs (yellow marks) weighing 42kg sold for €118 (€2.81/kg).

Fleshed lots

Fleshed lots weighing 45kg to 47kg were not far behind and sold from €127 to €135 on average, while the firm demand for lighter lots saw quality lambs weighing 40kg to 43kg trade from €118 to €123.

The appetite for stores was strong, with quality and presentation greatly influencing competition and prices paid.

Tight-wooled fleshed lambs weighing 50kg (on right) sold from €140 to €143 (€2.86/kg).

Lambs weighing 35kg to 37kg sold from €85 to in excess of €100, while shorter-keep lots weighing 38kg to 40kg sold from €90 to €108 on average.

Lighter lots weighing 30kg to 33kg sold from €75 for plainer-quality types to €85 to €88 for better-quality lots.

A batch of nine lambs (on front) weighing 42kg sold for €125 (€2.97/kg).

There were more freshly weaned ewes on offer, which led to a wide price differential.

For example, weaned ewes weighing 75kg lacking flesh sold in and around the €100 mark, while fleshed ewes of a similar weight sold as high as €130 to €137. Large-farmed ewes weighing 90kg to 100kg sold from €145 to €190 on average.

Large-framed cull ewes weighing 95kg to 97kg sold from €170 to €186.

Prices for ewes weighing 80kg to 85kg were also influenced by flesh cover and ranged from €110 to in excess of €140.

A small number of light hill and cross-bred ewes in the region of 55kg to 60kg sold from €10 to €25 over the weight.

Well-fleshed lambs weighing 47kg to 48kg topped out on a number of occasions at €140 per head (€2.98/kg).