Farm Ireland

Sunday 24 September 2017

Lamb Prices: Ramadan festival inspires revival in spring lamb prices

Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

IT appears that the recent downturn in factory sheep prices has been reversed with factories anxious for spring lambs.

As Ramadan approaches the situation now appears to be that hogget prices are running from €5.10-5.15/kg, with spring lamb on €6.10-6.20/kg. That’s a 10-20c/kg turn around.

John Brooks of ICSA concurs, “Prices are up 10-20c/kg across the board. There is pressure on numbers at present with even the UK expected to get tight.”

His analysis is backed up by Bord Bia which reports that “reduced supplies” coming on stream in Britain.

John Lynskey of IFA was of a similar mind. “Factories are anxious for spring lambs this week with a lot of customers having made the change over at prices of €6.00/kg to 20.5/21kg,” he said.

While both farm leaders are keen to talk up the trade the men with the factory cheque books were yesterday not that inclined to open them officially any further than they had last week.

Indeed the price of cull ewes has eased back by 20c/kg at Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague to €2.50/kg although Kepak do offer an additional 5c/kg quality bonus. Kildare Chilling are back 10c/kg at €2.60+10 on last week’s price, as supplies of culls remains strong.

Moving to the main event, the price of hoggets and spring lamb, sheep plants this week remain rooted and unmoved quoting no more but equally not quoting any less than last week.

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Top of the pile still for both hogget and spring lamb are Kildare Chilling with their official quotes of €4.95/kg+10c/kg bonus for hogget and €5.90+10 for spring lamb.

As the sun continues to shine the place for hoggets is in effect a tie between the two ICMs at €4.80+10 as against Kepak’s €4.85+5c/kg bonus, while Dawn Ballyhaunis stood at €4.70+5.

Sheep numbers

Official quotes for spring lamb yesterday remained exactly as they were last week with Kildare leading the way on €5.90+10c/kg bonus followed closely by Kepak Athleague also on €5.90/kg but only offering a 5c/kg quality bonus.

Next up are Moyvalley with their all in price of €5.90 followed by the two ICMs on €5.70+10, with Dawn Ballyhaunis on a straight €5.70/kg.

While the farming community no doubt believe they are entitled to more, the reality is sheep numbers are up on a year ago.

Bord Bia say figures up to the end of April show 99,000 extra sheep or 13pc more have gone to factories than in the same period for 2016.

Marts Roundup


TRADE was reported as slightly improved on the previous week with strong demand from farmers, especially for ewe hoggets. At the factory/butcher end, spring lamb made from €108-118/hd with hoggets over 50kgs making from €112-118/hd. Lighter hoggets from 43-49kgs sold from €102-114/hd while store hoggets made from €77-101/hd. Ewe hoggets made from €115-140/hd with cull ewes making from €59-124/hd. Ewes with single lambs at foot made from €110-188/hd as doubles made from €175-255/hd.


The trade for ewes with lambs at foot was described as “very strong” with their prices ranging from €125-210 per unit.

The reverse was the case in the cast ewe section with prices reported as “easier” by €3-4/hd at €55-97/hd.

Hoggets from 50-55kgs made from€105-116/hd with lighter hoggets coming in at a top of €95/hd while ewe hoggets made up to €100/hd.


Numbers yesterday were up on the previous week. Spring lamb saw prices range from €116-120/hd on weights from 46-62kgs with 43-45kgs making from €87-120/hd. Cull ewes sold from €81/hd for 78kgs up to €115/hd for 101kgs.

In the breeding section prices ranged from €170-235/hd for ewes with lambs at foot.


Numbers of sheep presented were slightly up at Ballinrobe last week with that increase coming mainly in the ewes and lambs section. The trade for store lambs continued solid with prices ranging from €75-98/hd. Hoggets sold up to €128/hd. In the breeding section €212 was the top of the market for a ewe with twins at foot.


Numbers were less in New Ross yesterday which helped raise spring lamb up by €3-4/hd to €116-124/hd for heavy lamb with lighter stock on €104-113/hd. Butchers’ hoggets sold from €112-118/hd with lighter factory type hoggets making from €106-111/hd. Among the cull ewes, heavy ewes made from €86-112/hd with lighter ewes making from €75-95/hd.


The hogget trade remained steady with weights from 41-47kgs making from €100-107/hd with heavier lots in the 50-65kgs category selling from €113-117/hd. Spring lambs saw 48kgs make €116/hd, 49kgs-€119/hd and 50kgs made €120/hd.

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