The trade for Irish sheepmeat has eased and is particularly slow across the key exports markets for the week ending October 30.

According to Bord Bia, this has caused an ease in the sheep trade due to reduced demand, as a result, it says base quotes for spring lamb are generally making €4.40/kg while cull ewes made €2.50/kg.

In Britain, Bord Bia reports that there has been little change in the trade. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €4.45/kg deadweight during the week.

Bord Bia also says the French market remains sluggish due to strong volumes of UK lamb present on the market.

As a result, Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €4.67/kg deadweight towards the end of this week, as French promotions were focused on shoulders, chops and legs of lamb.

National sheep kill back 8,000 head on 2014 levels

The national sheep kill is running 8,219 head behind 2014 levels, the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

For the week ending October 25, 2015 some 2.119m sheep went to Irish factories. This is back 8,219 head from the 2.127m head that went through at the corresponding period in 2014.

Supplies at sheep export meat plants for the week ending October 25 stood at over 57,000 head which was 2% up on the corresponding week in 2014.

The spring lamb kill last week stood at 49,883 head, this is up 3,312 head or 6% on the corresponding period last year, the figures show. Cumulatively the spring lamb kill is 73,961 head ahead of last year.

Mart Sheep Trade

The number of butcher and factory lambs coming forward in the county’s marts have slipped on previous weeks, according to the country’s mart managers.

However, despite this reduction in numbers the mart trade remains steady with butchers lambs selling from €1.84-2.23/kg and the factory lambs trading at €1.89-2.13/kg.

The strong store lamb trade continues around the country with these lots trading from €2.00-2.57/kg while the better quality factory fit cast ewes made €88-122/head this week.