Quotes for lambs have dropped by 10-15c/kg this week due to difficult trading conditions on the continent.

Many processors have cut quotes, which means that farmers can be expect to be offered 540-550c/kg for lambs up to a 23.5kg carcass.

A plentiful supply of French lamb has been cited as the main cause for this price drop, but Bord Bia also says there has been an increase in the volume of New Zealand lamb available on the French market.

This combined with a reduction in demand for sheepmeat in France caused by the mid-term break, has made trading conditions difficult for Irish lamb, Bord Bia says.

Factory lamb prices

As with last week, Kepak Athleague continues to lead the market and is offering 550c/kg for lambs, but this is down 15c/kg on previous week’s prices.

The two Irish Country Meat plants and Kildare Chilling have also cut lamb prices. They are currently offering 540c/kg for lambs, which is 10c/kg lower than last week.

There has also been a drop in cull ewe prices. Last week, ewes made 290-300/kg, but these week some plants are offering quotes as low as 270c/kg to secure these lots.

Lamb quotes:
  • ICM Camolin 540c/kg + 10QA
  • ICM Navan 540c/kg + 10QA
  • Kildare Chilling 540c/kg + 10QA
  • Kepak Athleague 550c/kg +10QA

Sheep and lamb supplies

The number of sheep available to slaughter in Ireland continue to contract on a weekly basis, recent figures from the Department of Agriculture’s sheep kill data shows.

The week-on-week sheep throughput has dropped by 3.6% from the week ending February 21, compared to the week earlier.

There has also been a similar reduction in lamb numbers, which has dropped by 3.6% (-1,252 head) during the week ending February 21, compared to the previous week.

The number of ewes and rams slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved export plants has also dropped.

Figures from the Department show that ewe and ram throughput has dropped by 3.8% (-222 head) between the weeks ending February 14 and February 21.