While factory prices in the sheep trade have held this week, farmers are urged to consider other options for where to bring their livestock for sale.

Prices for today (Tuesday, May 7) come during a shorter processing week due to the bank holiday Monday, but there has been no increases from factories in what they are offering farmers.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) sheep chair Adrian Gallagher said “despite factories trying to reduce” lamb and hogget quotes, the availability of lambs is “not on the ground and factories are having to pay above quoted prices to secure supplies”.

Gallagher said farmers should “sell hard” and be “mindful” of the mart trade, which he added has proven to be “a competitive alternative” for sellers currently. 

Spring lamb prices

Irish Country Meats (ICM) is quoting €9.30/kg, plus a 20c/kg quality assured (QA) bonus for spring lambs up to 20.5kg, a total of €9.50/kg.

12 months ago, ICM was quoting €7.80/kg plus a 20c/kg QA bonus for a spring lamb, which is €1.50/kg less than what they offered this week.

Other outlets are offering €9.25/kg plus a 15c/kg QA bonus up to 20.5kgs, a total of €9.40/kg for a spring lamb, while another processor has offered €9.50/kg for a spring lamb.

Hogget and lambs

ICM is quoting €9/kg, plus a 20c/kg QA bonus, which is a total of €9.20/kg for a hogget.

A year ago, ICM quoted €7.05/kg plus a 20c/kg QA bonus for hoggets, €1.95/kg less than what they offered this week.

Other outlets are paying €8.85/kg plus a 15c QA bonus up to 23.5kg, a total of €9/kg.

Ewe prices

ICM is currently offering €4.20/kg for heavy ewes, while other outlets are offering €4.10/kg for ewes, plus an extra 10c/kg for a QA ewe weighing over 30kg.

 In its only offering for sheep this week, Kildare Chilling has quoted €4/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus for cull ewes weighing from 35 to 43kgs.