No movement in lamb price as calls made to relax carcass weight cut-off limits

There has been little or no movement in the lamb factory trade this week, with most factories opting to stay at last week’s quoted base price levels.

Most factories are operating off a base price of between 450-465c/kg (excluding the Bord Bia Quality Assurance bonus), with the latter price being offered by Kepak Athleague.

Kildare Chilling and the two Irish Country Meats’ plants are also beginning negotiations with farmers at 460c/kg and 450c/kg respectively.

Lamb prices:
  • ICM Camolin: 450c/kg + 10c/kg QA
  • ICM Navan: 450c/kg + 10c/kg QA
  • Kepak Athleague: 465c/kg +10c/kg QA
  • Kildare Chilling: 460c/kg +10c/kg QA

Looking at ewe prices, most plants are continuing to offer between 230-240c/kg, which seems to have become the norm in recent weeks.

Calls made to relax carcass weight cut-off limits

IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said the move by some factories to try to restrict carcass weights to 22.5kg was being strongly resisted, adding that farmers should insist on at least 23kg.

He said on 50 lambs, this type of cut will cost a producer €119.

In addition, John Lynskey said IFA has made it very clear to the factories and the Department of Agriculture that the imposition of clipping charges of 20c per lamb is very wrong and highly discriminatory especially on producers who are supplying clean lambs

On the market, he added that the indications are that supplies are tighter this week when compared to last week and factories are finding it harder to get lambs.

Main markets

According to Bord Bia, the British sheep trade remained relatively steady last week, with the SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales making the equivalent of around 427c/kg deadweight.

The French market remains slow, it says, following the festive period as an abundance of competitively priced UK lamb is available on the market.

Demand has eased for legs and loins with limited retail promotions taking place on domestically produced product. Grade 1 Irish lamb was making around 515c/kg DW (incl VAT) last week.