The sheep trade continues to remain strong on the back of tight supplies coupled with good seasonal demand according to Bord Bia’s latest market update.

It says a good trade was also reported across our key export markets on the back of increased Christmas purchasing.

Bord Bia says base quotes for Spring lamb were making around €4.85/kg last week with selected lots achieving higher prices. Prices paid for culled ewes were continuing to make around €2.70 – 2.80/kg.

Supplies at sheep export meat plants for the week ending December 13 stood at around 51,000 head which were 8% lower than the corresponding week last year. Overall year to date supplies have tightened and are running 1% behind 2013 levels standing at 2.53 million head, according to Department of Agriculture figures.

In Britain, Bord Bia says the trade was reported as strong due to the upcoming holiday season. The SQQ live price for new season lambs in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €5.18/kg dw towards the end of the week.

In France, it says the trade was continuing to remain strong due to increased festive demand. Bord Bia says promotions are ongoing for forequarter cuts, shoulders and legs. IT reports grade 1 Irish Spring lambs were making around €5.51/kg during the week.