Sheep trade: Forward momentum continues as lamb prices top €6.50/kg

Top prices of €6.50/kg are being reported for large bundles of lambs, as supplies continue to tighten further.

For regular sellers, prices of €6.10-6.30/kg appear to be on the table currently, as the appetite for sheep among factories intensifies.

Base quotes for lambs are also on the rise once again. Kildare Chilling is leading the way with a base price of €6.00/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assured (QA) bonus. 

Back on the table this week is Irish Country Meats (ICM) which is quoting €5.90/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus for lambs. Kepak Athleague is once again off the table this week.

Mart managers have been quick to note the tightening of lamb supplies, as factory agents battle it out for a supply of lambs. Prices for factory lambs have really kicked on since the turn of the year, with many reporting lambs to be €5-10/head dearer on pre-Christmas levels.

The cull ewe trade is also strong. Base quotes of €2.80/kg are being quoted by factories currently.

Commenting on current factory prices, the sheep chairperson of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Sean Dennehy, said that top prices of €6.50/kg are being secured by sellers supplying large numbers of lambs.

He said: “The mart trade has really kicked on since the turn of the year. Supplies are tight currently and factories are hungry for lambs, as there is a strong demand there at the moment.

Top prices for those supplying a large number of lambs are €6.50/kg. Then you’re talking €6.20-6.30/kg for those regular suppliers.

“Numbers aren’t there at the moment and that is leading to a surge in factory prices. Overall, it is very positive at the moment.”

Lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: No quote;
  • Kildare Chilling: 600c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM: 590c/kg + 10c/kg.