Steady sheep trade despite sluggish export markets – Base quotes 440-450c/kg

The sheep trade remains relatively steady this week due to tighter supplies with demand remaining slow and sluggish across the key export markets, according to Bord Bia.

Base quotes for lamb were generally making between €4.40-4.50/kg with higher quotes reported for selected lots, while prices paid for culled ewes were making around €2.50/kg, while the mart trade is holding well.

Export Markets

The sheep trade remains steady in Britain, says Bord Bia, with the English and Welsh lamb making the equivalent of €4.57/kg deadweight during the week.

The French trade continues to remain slow, it says, as the English lamb continues to dominate the market, which is having a negative impact on the demand for Irish and imported lamb.

Wholesale prices have declined, in particular, for vacuum packed shoulders, legs and loins, it says, while promotions were centred on shoulders, stewing meat and legs.

According to Bord Bia, Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €4.67/kg deadweight towards the end if the week.

Sheep Supplies

The cumulative throughput of sheep at sheepmeat export plants has dropped by 1%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show, as total throughput currently stands at 2.2m head.

As of the week ending November 1, 2015, the cumulative national sheep kill was back by 21,801 head on the corresponding period in 2014, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Total spring lamb throughput to Irish export plants has increased by 5% or 62,751 head to November 1, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

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