Prices for slaughter-fit lambs have increased on average by €2 to €4 per head on the back of increased buying for the Eid al-Adha festival.
The general run of prices for heavier fleshed lambs weighing 48kg upwards ranges from €135 to €145, with lamb quality and competition levels influencing prices paid.
There are also infrequent reports of lambs weighing upwards of 50kg selling to €150 and higher where met by strong demand by butcher buyers.
Lambs weighing 43kg to 46kg are trading on average from €120 upwards for medium-quality lambs to the low- to mid-€130s for top-quality lambs.
Demand is such from factory agents that they have no hesitancy in dropping down in weights for lambs with a good cover of flesh.
Demand has grown in tandem with the increase in numbers
This increase in competition is driving prices for fleshed lambs weighing 40kg to 41kg to €115 to €122, with forward stores in this weight bracket selling back to €100 to €110 per head.
The number of store lambs appearing in sales is increasing steadily in sheep strongholds.
Demand has grown in tandem with the increase in numbers, with store lamb buyers returning with optimism after a successful outcome in 2020.
Prices are very much dependent on quality, with a differential of up to €10 per head commonplace for lambs of a similar weight.
There is firm demand for large-framed heavy ewes, with supplies relatively tight
Well-presented lowland lambs weighing 35kg to 37kg are trading on average from €2.70/kg to €2.85/kg, with select lots of top-quality lambs, including ewe lambs with breeding potential, rising to €3/kg.
There is firm demand for large-framed heavy ewes, with supplies relatively tight.
Heavy ewes weighing upwards of 90kg continue to trade from €150 to €175 on average, with top-quality lots and heavier ewes weighing upwards of 100kg rising in cases to €200 and higher.
There are more freshly weaned ewes on offer, leading to a significant price differential, with ewes weighing 80kg ranging anywhere from €115 for lots lacking flesh to €145 for quality lots.
Light ewes weighing 50kg to 55kg are trading from €1/kg up to €1.30/kg to €1.40/kg.
Some mart managers have reported small entries of ewe hoggets appearing and meeting strong demand.
Top-quality lots range from €200 to €220 with isolated prices above this while lighter and crossbred lots are selling from €170 upwards.