The sheep trade has steadied across our key export markets and this has had a positive impact on the trade, according to Bord Bia.

It says the trade continues to move forward due to renewed pressure on supplies while demand is also remaining strong.

Early quotes from sheepmeat export plants indicate that spring lamb is generally making 470-490c/kg with the quality assurance bonus ranging from 6-10c/kg for qualifying lots.

Presently, farmers are being offered 260-270c/kg for cast ewe with the total cull ewe kill back considerably on previous years.

sheep prices

Export Markets

Following weeks of mixed trade across the key export markets, the trade has finally steadied with a good demand reported for lamb in the UK.

According to Bord Bia, a positive trade was reported on the back of a seasonal rise in demand coupled with some tightening in numbers.

Furthermore, it added that the English and Welsh lamb is currently making the equivalent of 488c/kg deadweight.

However, despite the improvement in the trade in Britain, the French market remains slow on the back of reduced demand with small volumes of sheepmeat on the market.

According to Bord Bia, Grade 1 Irish lamb made 499c/kg (deadweight including VAT) towards the end of last week.

Total Sheep Kill Falls 1%

The cumulative throughput of sheep at sheepmeat export plants has dropped by 1%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show, as total throughput currently stands at 2.26m head.

As of the week ending November 15, 2015, the cumulative national sheep kill was back by 14,974 head on the corresponding period in 2014.

Total spring lamb throughput to Irish export plants has increased by 6% or 70,734 head to November 15, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, with a good trade for these lambs reported.

The cumulative number of hoggets (2014 born lambs) going to factories have decreased on 2014 levels by 42,794 head, with 639,217 slaughtered to date in 2015.

There has also been a 13% reduction in the total cast ewe and ram kill, with 41,338 fewer of these animals going to meat export plants in 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.