The sheep trade is starting the week off on a far better note than this time last week, with factories tactics from last week of talking down the trade and lowering base prices for lambs appearing to fail.

Instead, prices are moving in a positive direction at the start of this week, with one factory increasing its base price for lambs from late last week by 20c/kg.

Prices at the top end of the market are ranging from €7.30-7.40/kg – with deals being done to this level more frequent than last week. It is believed, despite factories pulling base prices last week and offering under €7.00/kg, that lambs, in spite of this, are still moving at prices at and above €7.00/kg this week.

Quotes were once again very hard to come by yesterday (Monday, November 29) with the only meat processing plant giving an official quote for lambs being Kildare Chilling of €7.10/kg plus a 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus – up 20c/kg from last week.

Irish Country Meats (ICM), Kepak Athleague and Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis didn’t offer up a quote for lambs or even ewes when contacted by Agriland.

There is no change to report on the cull ewe trade. The only quote for ewes was from Kildare Chilling who remain on a base price of €3.20/kg plus a 10c/kg QA bonus.

Reported top prices continue to range from €3.30-3.40/kg for ewes.

‘Farmers held out and rightly so’

Farmers held out and rightly so when factories attempted to pull prices last week and their attempts to pull prices have failed, Sean McNamara, the sheep chair, of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) said.

Speaking to Agriland about the sheep trade he said: “Factories tried their best to pull prices by talking down the trade and lowering base prices last week thinking farmers would throw lambs at them and it didn’t work.

“Farmers held out and rightly so. These tactics [of talking down the trade] aren’t going to work and this week prices are up again and this further underpins the strong market demand that is there and that there was absolutely no need for factories to try what they did last week.

“Deals of up to €7.30-7.40/kg are on the table this week and with supplies continuing to stay tight, I’m advising farmers to sell hard and not entertain any lowball offers from factories.”


  • Kildare Chilling: 710c/kg + 10c/kg;
  • ICM: No quote;
  • Kepak Athleague: No quote;
  • Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis: No quote.
  • Kildare Chilling: 320c/kg + 10c/kg QA;
  • ICM: No quote;
  • Kepak Athleague: No quote;
  • Dawn Meats Balllyhaunis: No quote.