There has been some movement to report in prices as the week has progressed, with some factories playing catch up to others.

This has seen base prices for lambs increase by 10c/kg in cases, to leave base quotes across factories that offered a quote at €6.35-6.50/kg, with quality assured lambs moving from €6.45/kg to €6.60/kg.

While top prices for lambs are reaching as high as €6.75-6.85/kg.

There is also movement in what factories are paying up to for lambs, with more now paying up to a 22.5kg carcass weight.

Factories are saying that fit lambs are scarce, and base quotes increasing by 35-50c/kg in just over two weeks further highlights the appetite factories have for lambs.

These increases in prices by factories are just as quickly appearing ringside at marts, with some mart managers calling lambs €5-8/head stronger again this week.

‘Hold out for €7.00/kg’

The sheep chair of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA), Sean McNamara has that farmers should hold out for €7.00/kg for lambs.

Speaking to Agriland, McNamara said: “We are finally seeing prices move in the right direction and although they are still quite a way off where they need to be, it’s an improvement.

“Meal is being fed to get these lambs fit and so prices need to reflect the increased cost of production in feeding these lambs.

“If factories aren’t playing ball on price, there is no shortage of buyers at marts for lambs with the trade improving once again on last week.

“I’d be urging farmers to hold out for €7.00/kg from the factories for lambs. It’s warranted with the costs involved in getting lambs finished.”

Ewe quotes edge up

There is also some movement to report on ewe prices, with Kildare Chilling upping its base price by 10c/kg to now stand at €3.10/kg.

This means base prices across factories that offered a quote now range from €3.00-3.10/kg, with top prices for ewes stretching to €3.50-3.70/kg.