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.

In pictures

This batch of 12 Texel-cross lambs weighing 48kg sold for €155 each (€3.23/kg).

This mixed batch of store lambs weighing 40kg sold for €122 each (€3.05/kg).

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This batch of 15 quality Cheviots weighing 70kg sold for €176 each (€2.51/kg).

The four Scottish Blackface ewes weighing 54kg sold for €76 each (€1.41/kg).

This batch of 14 Texel-cross ewe lambs weighing 44kg sold for €147 each (€3.34/kg).

This batch of 10 mainly Suffolk-cross ewes weighing 76kg sold for €120 each (€1.58/kg).

This pair of Suffolk-cross ewes weighing 84kg sold for €144 each (€1.71/kg).

This batch of eight mainly Cheviot cull ewes weighing 62kg sold for €86 (€1.39/kg).

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This batch of 26 Cheviot cull ewes weighing 69kg sold for €94 (€1.36/kg).

These two light Cheviot-cross cull ewes weighing 59kg sold for €120 (€2.03/kg).

These three mixed breed ewes weighing 83kg sold for €150 (€1.81/kg).