Lamb prices up 10-15c/kg from last week’s low

Lamb prices are up 10-15c/kg this week, after quotes dropped below €5/kg last week. This news will be welcomed by many producers who saw the returns generated by their lambs fall by over 45c/kg in recent weeks.

Base prices currently stand at 490-505c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses).

Kildare Chilling leads the way with an all-in price of 515c/kg (505c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance Scheme bonus) offered for spring lambs up to 21kg yesterday.

The processor has noted that kill-outs are less than they were a month ago, with increased grass intake leading to larger gut-fill. The Co. Kildare factory advises farmers to draft lambs at higher weights.

Kepak Athleague have added 10c/kg onto last week’s quote and is currently offering 500c/kg and a Quality Assurance Scheme bonus of 5c/kg.

Irish Country Meats, with facilities in Navan and Camolin, is currently offering an all-in price of 500c/kg (490c/kg + 10c/kg Quality Assurance Scheme bonus). As has been the case in recent weeks, the processor remains at the bottom of the table when it comes to spring lamb quotes.

Spring lamb quotes, Monday August 14:
  • ICM Camolin: 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM Navan: 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Kepak Athleague: 500c/kg + 5c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 500c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Cast ewe prices remain relatively unchanged from last week and most buyers are starting negotiations with farmers at 270c/kg.

Supplies

Figures from the Department of Agriculture’s sheep kill database show that the total number of sheep slaughtered increased slightly during the week ending August 6.

In total, some 59,766 head were processed during the first week of August – a jump of 1,054 head or 1.8% on the levels witnessed during the previous week.

Ewe and ram slaughterings increased by 1,125 head or 10% on the previous week – 11,568 ewes and rams were processed in approved export plants during the week ending August 6.

However, the number of hogget slaughterings dropped by 52 head or 19% on the quantity processed during the previous week.

Spring lamb throughputs remained similar to the previous week. A slight increase of 0.1% was seen during the week ending August 6. In total, some 47,980 springs lambs were slaughtered in approved export plants.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending August 6):
  • Hoggets: 217 head (-52 head or -19%);
  • Spring lambs: 47,980 head (+63 head or +0.1%);
  • Ewes and rams: 11,568 head (+1,125 head or +10%);
  • Total: 59,766 head (+1,054 head or +1.8%).

Main markets

According to Bord Bia, the British sheep trade was underpinned by steady demand and higher throughputs last week.

The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around €4.80/kg (deadweight), it says.

Looking at France, Bord Bia said trade remained unchanged last week with lower consumption and demand reported on the back of poor weather.

Irish spring lamb (grade 1) made around €5.46/kg (deadweight) last week in France.

Bord Bia says it is hoped that trade will see some improvement before the end of the month on the back of public holidays and upcoming religious festivals.