There is more movement to report in this week’s sheep trade, with base prices in cases moving up 10c/kg for both lambs and ewes.

Kildare Chilling is leading the way with a base price of €8.20/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus – which is up 10c/kg on last week.

Reports indicate that base prices on offer from other meat processing plants are starting at €7.95/kg, with some also increasing prices this week similar to Kildare Chilling while others are holding firm on last week’s prices.

This, therefore, has opened up a gap of 25c/kg in base prices between factories for spring lambs.

Those trading at top end of the market are generally securing prices of €8.30-8.40/kg for lambs, with deals above this level also being reported.

Hogget base prices have fallen back in cases, with quotes now ranging from €6.85/kg up to €7.20/kg, with €7.30-7.40/kg at the top end of the market still being secured in the main.

There is also movement to report from the cull ewe trade with Kildare Chilling increasing its base price for cull ewes by 10c/kg to now stand at €3.90/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus up to a carcass weight of 43kg – up from 40kg.

Other quotes on offer for ewes remain at €3.80/kg. Deals at the top end of the market continue to hit €4.00-4.20/kg for ewes.

‘Positive to see price increases’

It is positive to see lamb prices moving forward in light of the current input cost situation, Kevin Comiskey of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said.

Speaking to Agriland, the sheep chair of the IFA said: “It’s positive to see prices for lambs moving forward and it is well needed and more will be needed with the cost of inputs.

“Top prices for lambs are moving at €8.30-8.40/kg up to a 21kg carcass weight with more being got in cases.

“Hogget prices are unchanged, while up to €4.20/kg is being paid for cull ewes.

“I’d urge farmers to only sell lambs to factories as they become fit to maximise returns and to sell hard while considering the mart outlet where factory agents are competing strongly for lambs, hoggets and cull ewes.”