The trade for lambs and hoggets has been sharper in recent days.

There has been no major change in price, but managers who held sales in recent days recorded prices firming by €1 to €3/head.

Heavier fleshed lambs are the most consistent trade, with prices for good-quality lambs weighing upwards of 48kg to 50kg selling in the main from €200 to €210, with select lots of excellent-quality lots rising to a high of €220 to €225 where butcher and wholesaler buyers have dominated bidding. Those at that weight lacking flesh sold back to less than €200/head.

Lambs weighing 44kg to 46kg are selling on average from €180 to the mid-€190s, with certain lots capable of achieving top slaughter performance hitting €200.

The potential slaughter performance has an even greater influence on lambs weighing 41kg to 42kg, with prices ranging anywhere from the low €170s to low- to mid-€180s.

Some marts have reported some lighter lambs presented with a lower cover of flesh, with such lambs a stickier sell.

Hoggets weighing in excess of 50kg are trading from €195 to €210, with the heaviest lots including ewe hoggets with good breeding potential rising in cases to €220.

Plainer-quality lots are selling back to €185 to €190, with plenty of demand still evident for rapidly dwindling entries.

Marts continue to benefit from higher ewe entries. The best-quality ewes continue to record prices of €2.20/kg to €2.50/kg liveweight.

Continental-cross ewes with a reasonably good cover of flesh are selling for in excess of €2/kg, with crossbreds from €1.90/kg to upwards of €2/kg.

Fleshed hill ewes range from €1.40/kg to €1.65/kg, with larger-framed ewes a livelier trade, with boner-type ewes selling back to €1/kg and under.

Ewes with lambs at foot are unchanged, with twin lamb units averaging from €220 to €280 for lots with aged ewes and rising to €350 and higher for quality lambs and young ewes.

Single-lamb lots are selling from €100 to €130 for aged hill units, with lowland lots to €200 and the best quality rising to €220 to €260.