Blessington Mart in Co Wicklow recorded a sharper trade in its general sheep sale on Tuesday, with prices rising by €2 to €5/head on the previous week.
The entry of almost 900 sheep failed to satisfy buyer demand, with John Doyle (JP and M Doyle) commenting that customers were willing to compete with greater intensity for tight supplies of good-quality fleshed lambs.
Prices paid for a selection of heavy lambs weighing upwards of 59kg to 60kg exceeded the €160 mark, selling to a top of €169 for 59kg lambs.
A range of €153 to €156 was the general run for good-quality lambs weighing from 48kg to 53kg.
Flesh cover had a big bearing on price and this was evident in a top price of €155 paid for 48kg lambs, some €10/head higher than similar weight lambs with a poorer cover of flesh.
This price differential was evident dropping down in the weights, with 45kg to 46kg lambs ranging from €136 to €146 and as high as €150.
Demand for store lambs has been much sharper in recent weeks, with lambs up another €2 to €3/head.
Shorter-keep stores weighing 39kg to 41kg sold from €118 to €126 for lots with good potential to feed on.
The best prices for lighter, well-presented stores weighing from 33kg to 37kg ranged from €2.80/kg to €3.10/kg, with plainer types from €2.60/kg to €2.75/kg and small numbers of longer-keep or poor-quality lambs sold singularly or in small batches ranging from €2.20/kg to €2.50/kg.
The cull ewe trade followed a similar rise to fleshed lambs of €3 to €5/head. Heavier ewes weighing from the low- to mid-80kg mark to upwards of 95kg sold from €140 to €186/head.
Prices paid for ewes weighing around 70kg was quality dependent, with some good lowland-cross and fleshed Cheviot ewes selling from €105 to €114. Such weight ewes lacking significant flesh sold back to the low-€90s in small numbers.
The trade for hill ewes was described as much brighter, with fleshed ewes selling from €1.30/kg to €1.50/kg, with a small number of light ewes from €1.10/kg to €1.27/kg.