Some sheep factories have dropped base quotes for spring lamb by 10c/kg bringing the base price to 450-460c/kg.

The increased numbers of lambs coming forward for slaughter has been cited by many as the primary cause for the reduction in the factory base price.

However, despite this relative drop the prices paid for cast ewes has remained constant with many plants offering 250c/kg for these animals.

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Sheep Trade

The sheep trade remains strong this week on the back of a further rise in demand with supplies reported as strong. A mixed trade was reported across the key export markets, according to Bord Bia.

In Britain, it says, an ease in the trade was reported following the stronger trade of the previous two weeks.

The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €4.73/kg dead weight towards the end of the week.

According to Bord Bia, the trade in France remains relatively steady this week due to the recent Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

However some decrease in demand is expected next week. Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €4.99/kg (DW incl VAT) towards the end of the week, it says.

Sheep Marts

The reduced factory quotes impacted on the prices paid for factory fit lambs this week as these lots have also slipped.

At present butcher and factory lambs sold for €1.82-2.09/kg and €1.76-2.15/kg respectively.

The mart trade for cast ewes has remained relatively strong with these lots selling from €90-119/head.

Spring lamb kill rises again – Total kill now 10% above 2014 levels

The total spring lamb throughput at sheepmeat export plants has risen by 10%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

This throughput for the week ending September 20 sits at 65,781 which has risen from 52,433 for the corresponding period in 2014.

The weekly spring lamb kill is also up, with 25% more lambs slaughtered on the weekending September 20 than the corresponding week last year, this is a difference of 13,348 head, these figures show.

The total number of 2014 born lambs (lambs/hoggets) has also dropped significantly down 5% on 2014, it says.

Figures from the Department also show that the weekly kill has fallen by 25% on the corresponding week in 2014, with 83 of these animals slaughtered falling from 1,342, it says.

The cumulative cull kill (ewes and rams) has also reduced by 15%, bringing the total ewe and ram slaughterings to 211,209 in 2015, this has been matched with a 45% reduction in the weekly kill which has dropped to 6,389 head.