With the upturn in lamb prices over the past two weeks, Agriland decided to look back to 12 months ago to see where lamb prices were at and how they compare to now.

This time 12 months ago, meat processing plants were putting downward pressure on lamb prices, with the average base price of lambs coming in at €5.00/kg.

At that time, base prices were ranging from €4.90/kg up to €5.10/kg, having knocked off 10c/kg at the time.

Fast forward to now and base prices this week are coming in at €5.95/kg up to €6.10/kg, with the average base price standing at just over €6.00/kg.

It’s important to note that deals for lambs are being done now, and last year, at prices above these levels, but just for the purpose of this article Agriland decided to take the base prices that were on offer during both periods.

So with this in mind, and having already laid out what factories had been and are currently offering for lambs, we can show what the difference in prices paid out now and 12 months ago are.

Taking that factories are paying up to a carcass weight of 21.5kg, this time 12 months ago at an average price of €5.00/kg, farmers were securing a return of €107.50 on a 21.5kg carcass.

Fast forward to this week, 12 months on, at an average price of just over €6.00/kg, we see that farmers are securing a return of €129.40 on a 21.5/kg carcass.

This equates to a difference of €21.90/head or just over a €1/kg on a 21.5kg carcass in the space of 12 months – which makes nice reading for sheep farmers.

This goes to show how strong the trade is currently. It’s also worth noting, that this time last year, we were heading into the second lockdown of Covid-19 and after that, lamb prices started to rise again.