The sheep trade is the starting the week on a steady note, with prices unchanged on last week.

Base prices remain the same as last week, with factories quoting €6.30-6.40/kg for lambs.

Prices for quality assured lambs are ranging from €6.40-6.50/kg, with deals at the top end of the market ranging mainly from €6.50-6.60/kg in general and up as far as €6.70/kg in cases.

Factories are officially paying up to 21kg, but reports indicate deals are being secured up to 21.5kg at some plants.

The ewe trade remains largely unchanged too; factories are quoting €3.40/kg for ewes, with top deals ranging from €3.60-3.80/kg in general.

‘Minimum €7.00/kg needed for lambs’

A minimum of €7.00/kg is needed for lambs currently, according to the sheep chair of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association.

Speaking to Agriland, Sean said: “Lamb prices need to be a minimum of €7.00/kg now.

“The trade has steadied up in recent weeks but not at the level it needs to be for farmers.

“Farmers should continue to handle lambs frequently, with lighter lambs best placed to be sold at the mart if unsure if they will kill out well.

“Realistically, in order for lambs to kill out well they would need to be weighing up on 50kg.

“The mart trade is performing well, especially for lighter lambs and ewe lambs and offers a better outlet for these lighter lambs.”