Sheep trade: Prices remain under pressure this week
Factory quotes have declined this week; despite a drop in numbers slaughtered. Kepak Athleague is offering a base price of 510c/kg (Quality Assurance of 15c/kg available) for lambs this week. A number of processors were not quoting lamb prices when contacted on Monday afternoon.
260-270c/kg is available for ewes and rams this week. Farmers should be cautious and get more than one quote before settling on a buyer.
The total number of sheep slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved plants in the week ending February 17 was down 19% on the same week last year.
31,766 lambs/hoggets and 5,259 ewes and rams were killed. These figures are down significantly on the week ending February 10, when 35,353 lambs/hoggets and 6,639 ewes and rams were slaughtered.
There was a strong trade in Carnew last Thursday (February 21). Factory sheep were in demand and some prices are detailed below.
On the day ewes with twin lambs at foot sold for between €185 and €242, while ewes with single lambs made between €120 and €200.
- 50kg: €210-125;
- 45-49kg: €111-121;
- 40-44kg: €99-115;
- <40kg: €80-106.
A smaller number of sheep, compared to recent weeks, were reported to be on offer at Baltinglass mart last Saturday (February 23). This in turn eased prices. Value was reported to be good for store lambs.
- >50kg: €112-124;
- 40kg: €100-113;
- 32-38kg: €72-100;
- <30kg: €54-68.
Numbers were also down in Roscommon this week. Trade was steady for cast ewes, while finished lambs peaked at €125 (55.8kg).
- >50kg: €118-125;
- 45-49kg: €110-113;
- 40-44kg: €95-102.
Ewes with two lambs at foot made up to €228, while ewes with one lamb at foot made up to €190.