Sheep trade: Lamb prices see an increase of 10-20c/kg

The sheep trade is starting on a strong foot this week, as base quotes for lambs head in the right direction once again.

Base quotes for lambs are ranging between €5.05/kg and €5.20/kg, which is a 10-20c/kg increase on the beginning of last week.

The biggest mover this week is Irish Country Meats (ICM). The meat processing plant has increased its base quote for lambs by 20c/kg from last week to €5.10/kg.

Kepak Athleague is back on the table with a quote this week and is offering a base price of €5.05/kg for lambs. Although, when quality assurance (QA) bonuses are taken into account it is leaving prices of up to €5.20/kg achievable for lambs.

Finally, out in front again this week is Kildare Chilling, who is offering a base price of €5.20/kg for spring lambs.

Going by reports, deals of €5.30-5.50/kg have been secured for lambs, with some producers, reportedly, getting as much as €5.55/kg.

Mart managers continue to report that heavy, well-fleshed lambs are scarce and that factory agents are having bother sourcing factory-fit lambs.

In terms of ewes, there is little to no change. Base prices continue to vary from €2.50/kg up to €2.60/kg.

Lamb quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 505c/kg + 15c/kg QA (Tuesday quote);
  • Kildare Chilling: 520c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Tuesday quote);
  • ICM: 510c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Monday quote).

Cast ewe quotes:

  • Kepak Athleague: 250c/kg (Tuesday quote);
  • Kildare Chilling: 250c/kg + 10c/kg QA (Tuesday quote);
  • ICM: 260c/kg (Monday quote).

Throughput

For the week ending August 23, the sheep kill amassed to 54,076 head, which is an increase of over 3,100 head from the week before.

The number of spring lambs processed increased by 3,154 head and amounted to 46,606 head, for the week ending August 23. To date this year, 10% or 74,133 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 7,320 head – a decrease of 1,680 head – for the week ending August 23.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (the week ending August 23):

  • Spring lambs: 46,606 head (+3,154 or +7.25%);
  • Ewes and rams: 7,320 head (-1,680 or -18.6%);
  • Total: 54,076 head (+1,490 or +2.83%).

Moreover, overall supplies increased by 1,490 head during the week ending August 23 and amounted to 54,076 head.

Data source: Department of Agriculture

Cumulative figures for the year to date have reached 1,812,132 head, which is an increase of 86,287 head compared to the 2019 figure of 1,725,845 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (the week ending August 23):

  • Hoggets: 787,605 head (+36,896 or +5%);
  • Spring lambs: 797,244 head (+74,133 or +10%);
  • Ewes and rams: 227,236 head (-24,428 or -10%);
  • Total: 1,812,132 head (+86,287 or +5%).