Again, for another week, most factory agents have increased their quotes for lambs by 5-10c/kg. Irish Country Meats (ICM) have also increased the maximum carcass weight specification for lambs to 22.5kg.

Therefore, top-weight lambs are now securing returns to the farmer of €110/head – including Quality Assurance (QA) bonuses.

This week, ICM is offering a base price for lambs of 480c/kg + 10c/kg QA (payable up to 22.5kg carcass). This is an increase of 5c/kg compared to last week.

Kildare Chilling increased its base price by 10c/kg compared to last week and is now offering a base of 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA (payable up to 22kg carcass).

Kepak Athleague is offering a base price for lambs of 480c/kg + 5c/kg QA (payable up to 22kg carcass); this is unchanged compared to last week.

Lamb quotes:
  • Kildare Chilling: 490c/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, most factories are quoting 260c/kg excluding QA bonuses.


Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that some 63,205 sheep were slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants during the week ending November 25 – a decrease of 2,457 head or 3.7% on the week before.

Source: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

The number of lambs slaughtered decreased by 2,070 head or 3.8% compared to the previous week. In addition, cast ewe and ram slaughterings decreased slightly by 361 head or 3% on the week before.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: 70 head (-9 head or -11%);
  • Lambs: 51,831 head (-2,457 head or -3.8%);
  • Ewes and rams: 11,300 head (-361 head or -3%);
  • Total: 63,205 head (-2,457 head or -3.7%).

Official figures also show that almost 2.71 million sheep have been slaughtered up to and including the week ending November 25.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:
  • Hoggets: 829,545 head (+22,213 head or +2.7%);
  • Lambs: 1,421,477 head (-9,199 head or <1%);
  • Ewes and rams: 461,578 head (+57,834 head or +14%);
  • Total: 2,712,775 head (+69,745 head or +2.6%).

Sheep marts

Raphoe Mart

There was a good entry of sheep at Raphoe Mart last Monday (November 26), with an excellent trade reported for all stock on offer. It was noted that there was a strong demand for slaughter-ready lambs with a top price of €114 paid on the day.

In addition, store lambs continued to be a good trade and fetched €65-€85/head for lighter lots, while €85-€105/head was paid for more forward-type stock. Cull ewes made €60-€125/head.

Lambs sold at:
  • <35kg – €65-75/head;
  • >35kg – €75-85/head;
  • 38-44kg – €85-95/head;
  • 44-50kg – €95-105/head;
  • 50-60kg – €105-114/head.

Ballinrobe Mart

On Wednesday last – November 28 – there were good numbers of sheep reportedly presented for sale at Ballinrobe Mart. It was noted that the trade was a little firmer for all types of stock.

Ewe lambs fetched from €87/head to €110/head, while fat ewes made from €66/head to €94/head. Furthermore, buyers of store lambs paid from €66/head to €90/head.

Carnew Mart

There were fewer entries presented for sale at Carnew Mart on Thursday last (November 29), with some 1,620 sheep reportedly on offer.

It was noted that there was a significant increase in the prices paid, with all stock classes achieving an extra €4-5/head. Heavy lambs achieved a top price of €118/head and cull ewes commanded a price of €45-€118/head.

Lambs sold at:
  • <35kg – €70-85/head;
  • >35kg – €70-85/head;
  • 40-44kg – €92-111/head;
  • 45-49kg – €104-116.50/head;
  • >50kg – €114-118/head.

Kilkenny Mart

There were some 420 sheep presented for sale at Kilkenny Mart yesterday (December 3). It was reported by George Candler – the mart’s auctioneer – that trade was excellent for all types of stock resulting in a 100% clearance.

It was noted that a top price of €120/head was paid for butcher-type lambs, while cull ewes peaked at €120/head.

On the day, store lambs weighing from 36kg to 40kg sold for €88-95/head or €2.25-2.57/kg. In addition, factory-fit lambs made from €100-108/head or €2.20-2.36/kg.

Sample prices:
  • 36kg – €90/head or €2.50/kg;
  • 38kg – €92/head or €2.42/kg;
  • 40kg – €93/head or €2.33/kg;
  • 44kg – €104/head or €2.36/kg;
  • 50kg – €111/head or €2.22/kg;
  • 56kg – €120/head or €2.14/kg.