The sheep trade is coming into the week on a steady note, with lamb prices holding from last week but demand firming up.

Factory quotes remain as is, with base prices ranging from €6.00/kg to €6.20/kg up to a 21.5kg carcass weight.

Kildare Chilling remains out in front with a base quote of €6.20/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus.

Irish Country Meats remains on a base price of €6.00/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus, while reports from other meat processing plants indicate base prices at €6.00/kg.

This means that QA lambs are moving at prices ranging from €6.10-6.30/kg, with prices at the top end of the market ranging from €6.40-6.50/kg in general.

Ewe trade

The ewe trade is not as steady, with base price in cases pulling back to under the €3.00/kg mark.

Base prices for ewes range from €2.90/kg up to €3.30/kg. Top prices for ewes range from €3.40-3.80/kg in general.

‘Sell hard’

Farmers are being urged to sell hard as factory demand for suitably finished lambs is strong.

Kevin Comiskey, the sheep chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) said: “Factory agents are very active over the past few days trying to secure numbers of suitably finished lambs, with deals to 22kg available.

“Prices of €6.40/kg and €6.50/kg have become a lot easier to negotiate for lambs and as such farmers should sell hard.”