Spring lamb prices continue to remain under pressure and most factories are offering 460-480c/kg (including QA bonuses) to secure supplies.

Kildare Chilling leads the way and is offering a base price of 470c/kg for spring lambs; a 10c/kg bonus is also available for Quality-Assured stock.

Kepak Athleague is in second place, offering 475c/kg (including a 5c/kg QA) for spring lambs. The two Irish Country Meats plants are bottom of the table and are offering an all-in price of 460c/kg (450c/kg + 10c/kg).

Generally speaking, farmers are being offering 240c/kg for cast ewes.


The lower prices that have been on offer, both this week and last, come on the back of strong supplies and a slowdown in demand.

Overall, throughputs at Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants reached almost 73,000 head during the week ending September 1.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending September 1):
  • Spring lambs: 65,723 head (+9,216 or +16%);
  • Ewes and rams: 7,100 head (-4,398 or -38%);
  • Total: 72,889 head (+4,806 or +7%). 

That’s an increase of 4,806 head on the previous week and a climb of 16% or 10,000 head on the same week in 2016.

Image Source: Department of Agriculture

Main Markets

According to Bord Bia, the British sheep trade eased somewhat last week as supplies jumped by 11% on the previous week.

The SQQ (Standard Quality Quotation) live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around 425c/kg last week.

However, the weakening sterling is boosting the competitiveness of UK lamb on export markets.

In France, like the beef trade, there has been some improvement particularly in the north of the country. This comes as schools and businesses reopen after the holiday season. Consumption has increased on the back of stronger demand due to the Eid-al-Adha festival.

However, there are strong supplies on the market to meet this higher demand, it says. A low number of retail promotions also took place in France last week. These promotions focused on domestic produce and imported forequarters, Bord Bia says.