Base quotes for lambs are largely unchanged this week. Some plants have reduced quotes by 5c/kg on last week, while other factories are firmly sticking their heels in on prices.

Base prices now across plants are standing at €6.00/kg, having come back in the last fortnight from €6.05-6.10/kg at some meat processing plants.

Quality assured lambs are moving at prices ranging from €6.10-6.15/kg with top prices being secured anywhere from €6.20-6.40/kg.

Weight limits still vary between some factories, with some paying up to 22kg while others are holding at 21.5kg.

Ewe prices

The ewe trade has witnessed some movement – but not in a positive direction.

Many meat processing plants are still quoting €2.90-3.00/kg for ewes; however, one plant has wiped 20c/kg off its base price on last week to now stand at €2.70/kg.

Top prices being secured for ewes in the main are between €3.10-3.40/kg.

Light lambs and the CLP

According to some factories, a lot of light lambs are still coming through the system, and price cuts are being inflicted on lambs killing out under 15kg.

Furthermore, with a huge amount of rainfall in the past seven to 10 days, ground conditions have deteriorated and as such, this brings the Clean Livestock Policy (CLP) back into focus.

As a result, as ground conditions worsen, it will result in soiled fleeces and dirtier lambs, especially in areas around feeders or for those grazing crops.

To avoid lambs being cut in price or possibly even not being taken by the factory as the year progresses, measures will need to be taken to ensure sheep are presented clean for slaughter.