Farm Ireland

Sunday 19 November 2017

Ringside: Lamb quotes are up to 30c/kg ahead on 2014

Lamb prices are continuing to hold. Photo: Getty Images.
Lamb prices are continuing to hold. Photo: Getty Images.

Joe Healy

Lamb prices are continuing to hold at high levels and as we move towards the easing up of supplies of the hoggets farmers will be hoping that this trend continues.

Most plants are currently quoting a base of €6.50/kg, close to 30c/kg up on last year. Kildare Chilling and the two ICMs are all on €6.50/kg and paying a quality assurance (QA) bonus of 10c/kg. Kepak Athleague did not quote yesterday, while Moyvalley were offering an all-in quote of €6.60/kg.

Farmers selling numbers are successfully bargaining for prices of 10-20c/kg above what they are being quoted so my advice would be to keep the lambs thriving, sell as soon as they come to weight and bargain hard in order to maximise their value. You will only sell them once.

The hoggets appear to be pretty steady apart from a dip of 10c/kg to the base quote from Kildare. This brings them back to a base of €5.70 plus the 10c/kg QA top-up and in line with both of the ICM factories. Kepak are also offering this €5.70/kg base with a 6c/kg QA bonus.

A few factory sources mentioned that the hoggets coming in can tend to be of very mixed quality with some over-weight while others are under fleshed.

The ICMs are on €3.30/kg for the cull ewes, while a fall of 10c/kg drops Kildare to a base of €3.20/kg but the factory is paying a QA bonus of 10c/kg. Kepak Athleague remain on €3.20/kg. I have heard of farmers securing prices of between €3.40-3.50/kg.

In Britain, little change in the trade has been reported. The SQQ live price for lamb in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €6.36/kg deadweight towards the end of the week.

A small uplift to the trade in France was reported on the back of a rise in demand with promotions centred on forequarter cuts. Meanwhile, Grade 1 Irish lamb was making €6.35kg (deadweight including VAT) towards the end of last week.

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Mart trade

The sheep trade enjoyed a lively week. Yesterday's sales were also quite strong but just not as brisk as the previous week. Prices for new season lamb in Athenry ranged from €78 to €94 over the €1/kg. One of the better prices was €142 for a pen weighing 48kg. Hoggets were making €70-84 with the weight.

The good lamb made a little more in Fermoy selling up to €97 with the weight, in a range of €80-97 over. Most of the fit lambs moved at prices of €125-140. Hogget prices varied from €72 to €87 with the €1/kg.

In Kilkenny, the fleshed lambs were selling for €122-140 or €75-96 with the weight. A range from €127 to €133 bought the majority of what was on offer. Hoggets were making from €78-88 over at prices of €130-144. Cull ewes sold for €96-150

Dowra had bigger numbers of sheep on offer last Saturday. The better hoggets were making €90-130, while stores made €60-95 each. Heavy fleshed cull ewes ranged from €90 to €140. Store ewes made from €50 to €80 each. Breeding ewes with twin lambs at foot varied from €180 to €250 each, while the top pens of ewes with single lambs made €150-210/unit. Older ewes with lambs made €80-150.

Prices were up on the previous week for the large numbers at Baltinglass Mart. The top price for hoggets and in-lamb hogget ewes was €135. Ewes with a lamb or lambs at foot peaked at €190. Cull ewes ranged from €75 to €138.

In Maam Cross, the blackface mountain ewes scanned in lamb made from €60 to €92. Blackface ewe lambs sold for €48-80, while the wether lambs moved at €36-85 each. Crossbred lambs made €63-102.

Spring lambs sold to a top of €140 or to €95 over their weight at Ennis Mart. Ewes with lambs at foot sold to €200, while the heaviest of the cull ewes made up to €140.


Indo Farming