Factories slash lamb quotes by 40c/kg

Quotes from factories for lambs this week have taken a major hit with prices falling by as much as 40c/kg.

Last week, Bord Bia reported the sheep trade had remained steady on the back of solid demand with prices remaining relatively stable.

However, importantly, it said that the trade was reported as slow across our key export markets.

Last week, base quotes for hoggets were making around €5.00/kg to €5.20/kg and early season spring lamb was making around €5.90/kg to €6.00/kg with selected lots achieving higher prices.

However, this week quotes from factories have fallen significantly to €5.40/kg – €5.50c/kg. Despite this the IFA says in its latest market update that farmers resisting lower factory quotes with prices of €5.60/kg-€5.80/kg being achieved.

Latest data from the Department of Agriculture shows supplies at sheep export meat plants for the week ending May 16 stood at around 43,500 head which was up 5% from the corresponding week in 2014.

Cumulative supplies for the year to date are currently running slightly behind year previous levels standing at around 814,000 head.

Key Markets

In Britain, Bord Bia report some further ease in the trade last week on the back of a continued rise in supplies pointing towards a large Spring lamb crop this year.

The SQQ live price for lambs in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €5.35/kg dw in the early part of the week.

Bord Bia

In France, Bord Bia says an ease in the trade was reported on the back of poor demand with a rise in volumes of Spanish and Portuguese lamb on the market particularly in the south of the country increasing competition.

It says mixed weather conditions have also impacted demand particularly for barbeque products. Promotions were mainly centred on legs and chops.

The price for Grade 1 Irish lamb in France was making €6.25kg (DW incl VAT) in the early part of last week.