The sheep trade in Northern Ireland this week has seen lamb prices strengthen similar to what has been seen down south this past week.

Factory quotes for lambs strengthened this week, ranging from 495p/kg up to 500p/kg up to a carcass weight of 21kg, with similar quotes expected for early next week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Meanwhile, lamb throughput last week tallied 8,718 head – which was back 1,421 head from the previous week.

The LMC said that this is significantly lower when compared to the corresponding week in 2020 when 10,960 lambs were processed.

Looking at what lambs made the trip down south, lamb exports to Republic of Ireland for direct slaughter last week came to 7,536 head – up 204 from the previous week.

While, the NI average deadweight lamb price last week was up 3.8p/kg to stand at 480.1p/kg.

Mart sheep trade

Looking at mart trade in NI this past week, many marts reported fewer lambs passing through the sales rings, according to the LMC.

Last Monday (October 11), in Massereene, 803 lambs sold for 440-466p/kg compared to 903 lambs selling for 440-480p/kg last week.

While in Rathfriland on Tuesday (October 12), 677 lambs sold for 440-528p/kg compared to 1,046 lambs that made from 444p/kg up to 525p/kg the previous week.

In terms of the cull ewe trade, top reported prices for culled ewes ranged from £132/head up to €174/head across the marts this week, the LMC added.

Republic of Ireland sheep kill

Meanwhile, in other sheep news, last week’s sheep kill in the Republic of Ireland (week ending October 9) saw an increase on the week before – up 1,854 head – figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

Looking at the figures in more detail, for the week ending October 9, 63,577 sheep were processed – which is an increase of 1,854 head from the week before.

The number of lambs slaughtered during the week ending October 9, accumulated to 53,509 head – which is an increase of 1,475 head from the week previous.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed an increase, totalling 9,964 head – up 813 head – for the week ending October 9.