The start of this week has seen factories move to try, once again, take the sting out of the trade and pull prices for lambs.

Mart sales held towards the end of last week and right up to today (Monday, September 6) saw prices for factory lambs ease back anywhere from €2-4/head.

Looking at what factories are offering, the biggest move this week is Kildare Chilling pulling its base price for lambs by 20c/kg to €6.00/kg for tomorrow (Tuesday, September 7), having had €6.20/kg on the table today for lambs.

Irish Country Meats (ICM) remains on a base price of €6.00/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assured (QA) bonus.

Reports indicate Kepak Athleague is quoting in and around what other processors are offering.

This means official quotes for tomorrow (Tuesday, September 7) are standing at €6.00/kg.

Top prices for lambs today (Monday, September 6) stood at €6.20-6.40/kg – which was what was being secured last week. However, with factories moving to take the heat off the trade, this could change as the week progresses.

It’s not only the lamb-trade factories trying to take the sting out of trade, as quotes for ewes have been hard to come by from some factories of late too.

Speaking to some processors, they are saying more ewes are coming on stream of late and this is why they aren’t seen to be as hungry for ewes. The only official quote for ewes is from ICM which is €3.20/kg.

Top prices for ewes, going by what Agriland has been told, continue to range from €3.30-3.40/kg in the main.

‘Factories chancing their arms’

Speaking to Agriland, Sean McNamara, the sheep chair of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) said that factories are looking to pull prices for lambs but will struggle to do so as supplies remain tight and demand continues to remain strong.

He added: “Factories are chancing their arm trying to pull prices but I just can’t see how they can.

“Demand is still strong and supplies are tight from what I’m seeing, so I can’t see where this pull in price can come from.

“€6.30-6.40/kg is still being secured for lambs and if farmers have heavy lambs and are getting nowhere with the factories, then I’d be saying go to the mart with them.

“We see all the time when lamb prices start to increase, factories try to take the heat out of the trade at some stage, but I think they will find it hard to do this time around.”


  • Kildare Chilling: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Tuesday quote);
  • ICM: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Tuesday quote);
  • Kepak Athleague: No quote.
  • Kildare Chilling: No quote;
  • ICM: 320c/kg (Tuesday quote);
  • Kepak Athleague: No quote.