Extra lamb supplies fail to knock spring lamb price

Spring lamb prices have remained unchanged for another week with most factories holding prices at last week’s level.

Additional supplies of spring lambs over the last couple of weeks have failed to dampen the trade, with most buyers offering 460c/kg for spring lambs.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture’s sheep kill data base have shown a substantial jump in spring lamb slaughterings in recent weeks.

It shows that lamb throughput jumped 25% during the week ending August 14 compared to the week before. This increase brings the total supply of spring lamb for the week to just over 44,200 head.

However, despite the stability seen in the market in recent weeks, one major spring lamb buyer indicated that the market still remains difficult, mainly due to the fall in the value of the Sterling against the euro.

Sterling has weakened considerably in recent weeks and this has put increased pressure on Irish sheepmeat exports into the UK and continental Europe.

Meanwhile, the fall in Sterling has benefited sheep processors in the UK, as it has made UK sourced sheepmeat cheaper on the main continental markets.

Processors have also maintained cast ewe prices similar to last week, with most sitting on a base price of 230-240c/kg.

However, despite factory buyers maintaining ewe price, official figures show that cast ewe and ram throughput declined by 9% or 825 head during the week ending August 14.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: -65 head (-39%)
  • Spring lambs: +8,791 head (+25%)
  • Ewes and rams: -825 head (-9%)
  • Total: +7,395 head (+18%)

British lamb prices fall 3p/kg

The British sheep trade eased last week due to some recovery in supply, Bord Bia reports, but the weaker Sterling is making exports to other European markets more competitive.

According to the AHDB (the body for British beef and lamb), British lamb prices have fallen as higher numbers of lambs are coming to the market.

During the week ending August 17, it shows that lambs prices at British marts declined by 3p/kg on the week before with prices sitting at 186.4p/kg.

In deadweight terms, this price is the equivalent of around 471c/kg.

According to Bord Bia, there was little change seen in the French sheep trade last week.

It says that extensive retail promotions were taking place, focusing mainly on imported and domestically produced sheepmeat such as forequarter, hindquarter, steaks, legs and chops.