Spring lamb sees price drop of 30c/kg within a week

Spring lamb will see a drop in prices this week, with some processors quoting a decrease of up to 30c/kg on the previous week.

Last week, AgriLand reported a slight lift in trade, with spring lamb prices reaching 600c/kg in certain locations.

Kepak Athleague is today, June 19, offering a base price of 570c/kg for spring lambs, while Kildare Chilling is starting negotiations at 580c/kg. Both of these prices exclude Quality Assurance bonuses of 5c/kg and 10c/kg respectively.

The two Irish Country Meats’ plants, located in Camolin and Navan, are today offering farmers 570c/kg for new-season lambs, plus a 10c/kg Quality Assurance bonus.

The hogget market continues to remain the same as last week. Kildare Chilling is quoting 500c/kg for 2016-born sheep, while Irish Country Meats Navan is currently offering 480c/kg for hoggets.

In the ewe market, factory quotes range from 260c/kg to 265c/kg. The two Irish Country Meats’ plants and Kildare Chilling are currently offering 260c/kg. Kepak Athleague is quoting 265c/kg, plus a 5c/kg Quality Assurance bonus, for today and tomorrow.

Spring lamb quotes – Monday, June 19:
  • Kildare Chilling: 580c/kg + 10c QA;
  • Kepak Athleague: 570c/kg + 5c QA;
  • ICM Camolin: 570c/kg + 10c QA;
  • ICM Navan: 570c/kg + 10c QA.


There was a noticeable drop in the number of sheep slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved sheepmeat export plants during the week ending June 11.

In total, some 47,091 sheep were brought forward for slaughter – a decrease of 12,900 head or 21.5% on the week before.

However, it must be noted that the majority of processors only operated for four out of the five days during the week ending June 11, due to the bank holiday Monday.

With this in mind, official figures show that 3,693 fewer hoggets were slaughtered during the second week of June as opposed to the week earlier.

Reductions were also witnessed in spring lamb and cast throughputs (ewe and ram), which fell by 8,522 head and 645 head, respectively.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes (week ending June 11):
  • Hoggets: 4,326 head (-3,693 head or -46%);
  • Spring lambs: 36,328 head (-8,522 head or -19%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,437 head (-645 head or -9.1%);
  • Total: 47,091 head (-12,900 head or -21.5%).

Official figures also show that some 1.11 million head of sheep have been slaughtered in approved export plants this year. This is an increase of 13% on the quantity processed during the same period in 2016.

Main markets

According to Bord Bia, the British sheep trade continues to remain steady with good demand being offset by higher supplies. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales made the equivalent of around €5.59/kg last week.

In addition, Bord Bia says the French sheepmeat market was sluggish last week due to slow demand and strong supplies of imported lamb.

A number of retail promotions also took place last week, it says, and these focused on domestically-produced and imported lamb.