The trade for lambs continues to improve on a weekly basis, with factories increasing their quotes by 10c/kg this week.

The majority of plants are now sitting at 540c/kg without the Quality Assurance Payment, while Kepak Athleague leads the pack with a base price of 550c/kg for carcasses up to 23kg.

The price rise comes as there is good factory demand for lamb, with many processors trying to secure lambs in a market that is currently lacking supply.

There has also been slight improvement in the cull ewe trade.

Some processors are now offering 300c/kg for these lots, which is an increase of 10c/kg on last week’s price.

Lamb prices
  • ICM Camolin – 540c/kg+10c QA
  • ICM Navan – 540c/kg+10c QA
  • Kepak Athleague – 550c/kg+6c QA
  • Kildare Chilling  – 540c/kg+10c QA

Sheepmeat supplies

There has been a weekly increase in the number of lambs slaughtered at sheepmeat export plants, recent figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

The week-on-week throughput of lambs has increased by 11%, the figures show, with an extra 3,735 lambs slaughtered last week compared to the previous week.

A similar trend has also been seen with ewe and ram slaughterings, but the increase is much higher, with 3099 (81%) more of these animals being slaughtered last week compared to the week before.

The increase in ewe and ram slaughterings is likely to have occurred as farmers start to cull barren ewes from their flocks after scanning.

Sheepmeat export markets

There was a mixed trade reported across the key export markets for Irish sheepmeat last week, according to Bord Bia.

The British trade had seen some further improvement. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around 557c/kg, it says.

However, the French market remained slow with little or no Irish lamb available on the market, with the majority of imported lamb coming from the UK.

Bord Bia also says that the farmer protests have continued in France and as a result consumers and retailers are focusing on domestically produced forequarters.