The Eid al-Adha Muslim festival is having a big impact on the lamb trade this week, with exporters very active in marts around the country buying up lambs suitable for export.

The festival doesn’t take place until 16 June, but exporters have moved early to make sure they have sufficient supplies.

Mart managers are advising farmers to batch ram lambs separately for sale in the coming weeks.

A rising tide lifts all boats and given the demand that is out there for lambs, factories have had no choice but to increase their quotes for spring lambs this week. All marts saw a lift in trade and Tuam was no exception on Tuesday.

Heavy lambs at 48kg hit €218/head, while lambs at 45kg-plus crossed the €200/head barrier on several occasions.

Sheep numbers at marts continue to be on the light side and this is helping to drive prices, with a current high demand from exporters, wholesalers and factory agents.

Cull ewes also met an exceptional trade, with a pen of Suffolk-cross ewes weighing 96kg selling for €217/kg. Lighter cull ewes in the 70kg to 90kg weight band made from €160 to €200/head.

Demand for ewe hoggets was also strong, with a pen of four ewe hoggets weighing 55.5kg selling for €216/head.

In pictures

These 17 cull ewes weighed 96kg and sold for €217 (€2.25/kg).

These two ram lambs weighed 48kg and sold for €218 (€4.54/kg).

These seven ram lambs weighed 45kg and sold for €200 (€4.44/kg).

These four ewe hoggets weighed 55.5kg and sold for €216 (€3.89/kg).

These eight ram lambs weighing 48.2kg sold for €206 (€4.27/kg).