Sheep trade: ‘Deals of up to €5.35-5.40/kg being achieved for lambs’

The sheep trade over the past week has been strong, with reports of sellers achieving €5.35-5.40/kg for lambs.

Factory quotes remain the same, with base prices ranging from €4.90/kg up to €5.10/kg. Kildare Chilling remains out in front with a base price of €5.10/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus.

Kepak Athleague is quoting a base price of €4.95/kg plus a 15c/kg QA bonus. Lastly, Irish Country Meats remains on a base of €4.90/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus.

At the lower end of the market, those handling small numbers are reportedly still achieving deals of €5.10-5.20/kg, with some getting 5c/kg more in some cases.

Those involved in producer groups or handling large numbers are reportedly securing deals of between €5.25/kg and €5.35/kg, with some getting 5c/kg more (5.40/kg).

Speaking about the trade at present, the sheep chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Sean Dennehy, said: “I’ve heard of regular sellers getting €5.35-5.40/kg for lambs at the moment.

At the top end of the scale, €5.30-5.40/kg is what I have been hearing that people are getting. More and more sellers are getting paid up to 22kg carcass weight as well.

“All in all, the trade is good. Similarly, the mart trade is still going strong as well.”

Lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 495c/kg + 15c/kg QA (Monday quote);
  • Kildare Chilling: 510c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote);
  • ICM: 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote).

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 250c/kg (Monday quote);
  • Kildare Chilling: 250c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote);
  • ICM: 250c/kg (Monday quote).

Throughput

For the week ending October 11, the sheep kill amassed to 62,401 head, which is a slight decrease of 347 head from the week before.

The number of spring lambs processed decreased marginally and amounted to 51,730 head, for the week ending October 11. To date this year, 9% or 94,772 more lambs have been killed in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Cast (ewe and ram) supplies at the Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 10,444 head – a decrease of 396 head – for the week ending October 11.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (the week ending October 11):

  • Spring lambs: 51,730 head (-19 or -0.03%);
  • Ewes and rams: 10,444 head (-396 or -3.65%);
  • Total: 62,401 head (-347 or -0.55%).

Cumulative figures for the year to date have reached 2,245,881 head, which is an increase of 116,385 head compared to the 2019 figure of 2,129,496 head.

Data source: Department of Agriculture

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (the week ending October 11):

  • Hoggets: 788,774 head (+37,220 or +5%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,158,168 head (+94,772 or +9%);
  • Ewes and rams: 298,883 head (-15,099 or -5%);
  • Total: 2,245,881 head (+116,385 or +5%).