Factories continue to offer lower base quotes for lambs

Factories have maintained their position on lamb pricing, with the majority working off a base price of 460c/kg this week.

Last week, a number of factories dropped the quoted spring lamb price by 10c/kg, due to lower demand following the end of the EID festival and poor performance on the main export markets.

And a number of procurement managers have indicated that the market for Irish sheepmeat will be middling-to-poor in the coming weeks, as the ‘trade recovers from an EID hangover’.

One procurement manager suggested that it may be the end of September before the markets recover, as consumer spending has dropped in recent weeks due to the beginning of the new school year.

However, despite the difficulties facing the market in the coming weeks, lamb buyers have suggested that the weekly kill will probably be lower this week as throughput is showing some signs of easing.

Official figures show that sheep supplies have been on the increase in recent due to increased factory demand for the Muslim festival of EID, while lamb numbers at marts have also been on the rise as farmers have taken advantage of the relatively good export trade.

Meanwhile, looking at the ewe trade, most factories have maintained the quoted ewe price at last week’s price of 230c/kg.

Lamb supplies

The number of lambs slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants jumped 13,343 head or 25.9% during the week ending September 11.

According to figures from the Department of Agriculture, almost 65,000 lambs were slaughtered in approved export plants during the second week of September.

However, despite the increase in spring lamb numbers, both hogget and cast throughput dropped last week.

Official figures show that ewe and ram throughput fell by 40% or 4,356 head and while only a small number of hoggets were slaughtered, throughput of these lots declined by 12% or 14 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: -14 head (-12.8%)
  • Lambs: +13,343 head (+25.9%)
  • Ewes and rams: -4,356 head (-40%)
  • Total: +8,938 head (+14%)