Factories gear up for spring lambs

Easter is fast approaching and all of the major sheepmeat processors are now offering official quotes for spring lambs.

Last week, calls were made for a spring lamb price of €7/kg but current market prices are sitting closer to the €6/kg mark.

The two Irish Country Meats’ plants lead the pack with an offer of 610c/kg. This is closely followed by Kepak Athleague’s base price of 600c/kg.

Meanwhile, Kildare Chilling is starting negotiations with farmers at 580c/kg for spring lambs up to a carcass weight of 19kg.

Spring lamb prices:
  • Kildare Chilling: 580c/kg +10c QA
  • ICM Camolin: 610c/kg +10c QA
  • ICM Navan: 610c/kg +10c QA
  • Kepak Athleague: 600c/kg + 5c QA

Little movement in hogget prices

Hogget numbers are beginning to get scare on the ground, but factories are resisting the temptation to raise prices.

For the most part, factories are offering the same base quotes as last week of 490-495c/kg (excluding Bord Bia Quality Assurance Payments).

Kepak Athleague is quoting 495c/kg. ICM is offering 490c/kg and Kildare Chilling has increased its base price by 3c/kg to 495c/kg.

Hogget prices:
  • Kildare Chilling: 495c/kg +10c QA
  • ICM Camolin: 490c/kg +10c QA
  • ICM Navan: 490c/kg +10c QA
  • Kepak Athleague: 495c/kg + 5c QA 

Ewe prices remain largely unchanged at 270-280c/kg.

Main markets

According to Bord Bia, an ease in numbers in Britain has helped prices but cumulative supplies are still 5% higher year-on-year.

The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around 463c/kg deadweight last week.

There has been little change reported in the French market, it says, despite the lower availability of supplies.

Bord Bia reports that supplies of domestic Lacaune lamb eased slightly, but low consumption continues to have a negative impact on the trade.