Sheep trade: 2019 lamb quotes off to a decent start

The first week of 2019 will see factory quotes for lamb trending upwards, albeit slightly, compared to pre-Christmas figures.

Many factory agents have reported that lamb supplies are tight at present, mainly due to the closure of marts and factories for the Christmas period.

As a result, this may lead to some farmers securing higher prices when sending their lambs for slaughter in the coming weeks.

Currently some farmers are achieving 500c/kg of carcass – including Quality Assurance (QA) bonuses – for their lambs. This equates to a return of €112.5/head for top-weight lambs.

This week, Irish Country Meats (ICM) is offering a base price of 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA (payable up to 22.5kg carcass).

Likewise, Kildare Chilling is offering a base price of 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA (payable up to 22kg carcass).

Kepak Athleague is also offering a base price of 480c/kg + 5c/kg QA (payable up to 22.5kg carcass).

Lamb quotes:
  • Kildare Chilling: 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • Kepak Athleague: 480c/kg + 5c/kg QA;
  • ICM Camolin: 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM Navan: 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA.

For ewes, some factories are quoting 260c/kg excluding QA bonuses, while others have increased quotes for cull ewes to 280-290c/kg.

Sheep marts

Carnew Mart

The last sheep sale of 2018 at Carnew Mart took place on December 20. It was reported that some 1,150 sheep were on offer.

These lots met with an improved trade with prices reportedly up by €2-3/head compared to previous weeks.

On the day a 54kg lamb fetched the top price of €116. It was also noted that cull ewes were up by €5/head selling for €63-125/head.

Lambs sold at:
  • <35kg – €68-85/head;
  • 35-39kg – €83-96/head;
  • 40-43kg – €93-107/head;
  • 44-49kg – €104-113/head;
  • >50kg – €112-116/head.

Raphoe Mart

There was a good trade reported for all sheep presented for sale at Raphoe Mart on December 17 for the last sale of the year.

It was noted that top-weight lambs commanded a price €118/head while cull ewes fetched €60-135/head.

Lambs sold at:
  • 30-34kg – €70-84/head;
  • 35-40kg – €80-90/head;
  • 40-46kg – €90-100/head;
  • 46-50kg – €100-110/head;
  • 50-60kg – €110-118/head.