Sheep factories: 10-15c/kg wiped off processors’ quotes

Procurement managers across the country have reported that plenty of sheep are available for slaughter this week.

An increase in available numbers has led to 10-15c/kg being knocked off the price for spring lambs; most factories are now offering base quotes of 450-460c/kg (including QA bonuses).

Kildare Chilling is offering a base quote of 450c/kg for spring lambs; a 10c/kg bonus is also available for QA stock – a 10c/kg drop on last week’s prices.

Kepak Athleague is starting negotiations with farmers at 455c/kg (including of 5c/kg QA bonus) – a 15c/kg decrease on last week’s quotes.

Irish Country Meats’ plants are quoting an all-in price of 450c/kg (440c/kg + 10c/kg QA).

Cast ewes that are well-fleshed are reportedly making 240-250c/kg.

In addition, some processors have now activated the ‘Clean Livestock Policy‘; charges of 20-25c/animal apply.


The lower prices, that have been on offer this week, come on the back of strong supplies and a slow-down in demand.

Overall, throughputs at Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants amounted to 64,208 head during the week ending October 1 – an increase of 2,299 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending October 1):
  • Spring lambs: 52,472 head (+2,582 or +5.2%);
  • Ewes and rams: 11,736 head (-187 or -1.6%);
  • Total: 64,208 head (+2,299 or +3.7%).

Spring lamb numbers have increased. However, there has been a slight drop in ewe and rams slaughterings.

Source: Department of Agriculture

Sheep trade round-up

Mart managers across the country have reported a mixed reaction to sales over recent days. The increase in sheep numbers slaughtered in factories across the country has relaxed factory buyers around the ring.

However, in the north of the country, trade was reported good for quality sheep and lambs.

Kilkenny Mart

George Candler, the mart’s auctioneer, reported a tough day at the office for all sheep producers.

Some 700 sheep passed through the ring on Monday last (October 9). “It could be another three weeks before we see a lift in prices,” he said.

Trade for all sheep was slow, with a top price of €107/head for lambs. Candler added that cull ewes made €55-104/head.

On the day, breeding hoggets fetched €132-171/head.

Sample butcher lamb prices:
  • 14 lambs: 57kg –  €1.84/kg or €105/head;
  • 40 lambs: 56kg –  €1.91/kg or €107/head;
  • 12 lambs: 55kg –  €1.85/kg or €102/head;
  • 18 lambs: 50kg –  €1.90/kg or €95/head.

Also at the mart, Suffolk rams sold for €250-€400/head. Texel rams sold for €240-€340/head and Charollais rams made €350-€400/head. These prices are well back when compared to those achieved by rams four weeks ago.

Sample factory lamb prices:
  • 16 lambs: 48kg – €1.96/kg or €94/head;
  • 11 lambs: 47kg – €2.13/kg or €100/head;
  • 15 lambs: 46kg – €1.96/kg or €90/head;
  • 13 lambs: 45kg – €1.80/kg or  €81/head.

In addition, store lambs sold for €1.91-2.10/kg or €65-80/head.

Raphoe Mart

Monday (October 9) saw a strong number of sheep go under the hammer at Raphoe Mart in Co. Donegal. Again, quality lambs met a good trade, according to mart manager Anne Harkin.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 33-36kg: €60-75/head;
  • 37-40kg: €70-78/head;
  • 40-44kg: €78-86/head;
  • 44-48kg: €86-92/head;
  • 48-55kg: €92-105/head.

On the day, a number of hogget ewes went under the hammer. These lots sold for €120-178 each. In addition, cast ewes for sale traded for €40-108.