A number of factories have pulled base quotes for lambs by 10c/kg for Tuesday.
This leaves base quotes ranging from €7.40/kg to €7.50/kg on average, with Kildare Chilling not quoting but working off a higher base quote.
This leaves a high percentage of lambs being offered returns ranging from €7.60/kg to €7.70/kg when payments for quality assurance or producer group bonuses are factored in to the equation.
Those trading at the higher end of the market or receiving conformation bonuses are securing upwards of 10c/kg higher.
Agents handling significant numbers are also being well looked after going on their purchasing activity in mart sales.
Most factories are trying to hold their general carcase weight paid limit at 20.5kg.
The two Irish Country Meats plants did, however, increase their paid carcase weight limit to 21kg at the start of last week and this is putting pressure on other plants to follow suit.
Some producer groups are receiving similar terms and other producers should also be aiming to secure the higher weight limit.
Hogget quotes have reduced to €6.70/kg to €6.80/kg in some plants, with Kildare Chilling remaining ahead in terms of prices offered.
The quality of hoggets on offer has become very mixed and this is also having a strong influence on prices paid. Regular sellers with fleshed hoggets that will kill below 23kg carcase weight are in the strongest selling position.
Producers should check what cuts are being applied to hoggets lacking flesh, killing at excessive carcase weights or which have started to or have teeth set.
This is important if there is any doubt that hoggets will fall foul of any of the above factors, with cuts typically in the region of €1/kg to €2/kg and as far back as hoggets being paid at ewe prices.
Corrin Mart, Fermoy, recorded a relatively small entry of lambs, with about 25 lots on offer. There was keen demand from butcher buyers for top-quality lambs, with a top price of €174 paid for excellent well-conformed lambs weighing 50.6kg.
A handful of other lots of fleshed top-quality lambs weighing around the 49kg to 52kg mark sold from €162 to €168.
Plainer-quality lots including crossbred lambs or poorly matched batches with a mixture of heavy and light lambs sold back to €150 to €155 for small numbers. Fleshed lambs weighing 46kg to 48kg sold on average from €152 to €158.
Heavy cull ewes weighing from 90kg to 100kg sold in the main from €156 to €174, with a batch of four heavy Charollais-bred ewes weighing 106.5kg topping the sale at €190 each.
New Ross Mart
Heavier lambs in Waterford New Ross Mart, Co Wexford, weighing upwards of 50kg sold in a tight price range from €158 to €166 per head.
Lambs weighing from 45kg to 47kg sold from €152 to €158, with a few lots weighing in around the 42kg mark selling in the main around €145 per head.
A couple of lots of store lambs sold at €124 for 36.7kg and €130 for 38kg lambs.
The general run of prices for lambs weighing upwards of 50kg in Ennis Mart, Co Clare, sold from €160 to €167, with a few lots of excellent-quality well-conformed and fleshed lambs capable of delivering top-quality carcases selling to €174 per head.
A small number of lambs lacking flesh sold back to €155 to €160, with lambs weighing 46kg to 48kg also falling within this price range.
Lots weighing from 43kg to 45kg sold on average from the low to high €140s, with the pick of prices for such weight lambs being €152 paid for top-quality Charollais-cross lambs.