Factories act to knock another 20c/kg off spring lamb quotes

Spring lamb quotes have dropped again this week and some factories have acted to knock another 20c/kg off prices.

Last week, AgriLand reported that procurement managers had opted to knock 10c/kg off quotes. This resulted in quotes of 520-535c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses) for spring lambs.

Most have now wiped a further 20c/kg off quotes this week and are currently offering a base price of 500-515c/kg (excluding Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses) for spring lambs.

On a 20kg lamb carcass, that’s a drop of €2 compared to the prices achieved last week and a drop of €4 compared to the prices two weeks ago.

Kildare Chilling and Kepak Athleague are offering the same base price of 515c/kg, plus Quality Assurance Scheme bonuses of 10c/kg and 5c/kg respectively.

The two Irish Country Meats’ plants are starting negotiations with farmers at 500c/kg. This excludes a Quality Assurance Scheme bonus of 10c/kg.

Spring lamb quotes:
  • ICM Camolin: 500c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM Navan: 500c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Kepak Athleague: 515c/kg + 5c/kg QA;
  • Kildare Chilling: 515c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

Despite the drop in spring lamb quotes, ewe prices are slightly up from last week and factory buyers are offering 270-275c/kg to secure supplies.


Figures from the Department of Agriculture’s sheep kill database show that there was a slight fall in the total number of sheep slaughtered during the week ending July 16.

In total, some 58,067 sheep were processed in approved export plants – a decrease of 55 head or 0.1% on the previous week.

There was also a fall in the number of spring lambs processed. Likewise, some 59 fewer hoggets were slaughtered during the week ending July 16.

However, cast slaughterings (ewes and rams) increased. Department figures show that cast slaughterings increased by 109 head or 1.3% on the previous week’s levels.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending July 16):
  • Hoggets: 529 head (-59 head or -10%);
  • Spring lambs: 48,666 head (-181 head or -0.4%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,796 head (+109 head or +1.3%);
  • Total: 58,067 head (-55 head or -0.1%).

Main Markets

Little change was reported in the British sheep trade last week, according to Bord Bia. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around 516c/kg (dead weight).

Bord Bia also says that supplies remain strong and continue to be up 7% in Britain compared to the same period in 2016.

Trade was slow in France last week, according to Bord Bia. This was due to decreased consumption and demand across the market. There was also an abundance of imported lamb on the market, with limited retail promotions taking place.