Sheep trade: Lamb prices holding at €4.90-5.10/kg

The sheep trade is starting on a steadier note this week, with quotes for spring lambs holding at what they were this time last week.

Kildare Chilling is still leading the way with a base price of €5.10/kg, while Irish Country Meats (ICM) is also holding at a base of €4.90/kg.

Again, Kepak Athleague – who has been off the table in terms of a quote for a number of weeks – was once again not quoting for lamb or ewes.

Top deals of between €5.20-5.30/kg continue to be achieved for those involved in producer groups or those with large numbers on hand – reportedly.

Speaking to mart managers over the past week, the word is that factory agents remain eager for suitable lambs; although, the number of factory-fit lambs on offer remains scarce.

Quotes for ewes remain unchanged at €2.50/kg. Top prices of €2.60-2.70/kg are being reported.

Lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: No quote;
  • Kildare Chilling: 510c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote);
  • ICM: 490c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote).

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: No quote;
  • Kildare Chilling: 250c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote);
  • ICM: 250c/kg (Monday quote).

Throughput

For the week ending September 27, the sheep kill amassed to 61,206 head, which is a marginal increase of over 308 head from the week before.

The number of spring lambs processed decreased by 466 head and amounted to 50,025 head, for the week ending September 27. To date this year, 10% or 99,371 more lambs have been killed in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Cast (ewe and ram) supplies at the Department of Agriculture approved sheep export plants stood at 10,968 head – an increase of 709 head – for the week ending September 27.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (the week ending September 27):

  • Spring lambs: 50,025 head (-466 or -0.92%);
  • Ewes and rams: 10,968 head (+709 or +6.9%);
  • Total: 61,206 head (+308 or +0.50%).

Cumulative figures for the year to date have reached 2,120,732 head, which is an increase of 122,777 head compared to the 2019 figure of 1,997,955 head.

Data source: Department of Agriculture

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (the week ending September 27):

  • Hoggets: 788,390 head (+37,059 or +5%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,054,689 head (+99,371 or +10%);
  • Ewes and rams: 277,599 head (-13,336 or -5%);
  • Total: 2,120,732 head (+122,777 or +6%).