Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Lamb rises by up to 30c/kg as rally begins

Photo Brian Farrell
Photo Brian Farrell
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

FACTORY quotes for lambs rose by between 10-30c/kg on the back of the Eid festival demand and the resurgence of live shipping.

This mirrors the predictions of the ICSA’s John Brooks who last week stated he hoped the trade was seeing the “bottom” of the current price cycle.

The biggest mover is Moyvalley who lift their quote by 30c/kg to €5.00/kg.

The highest price comes from Kildare Chilling at €5.05/kg +10c/kg quality assurance which is up 15c/kg on their quote for last week.

Kepak Athleague raised their quote yesterday morning by 10c/kg to sit second in the price table at €5.00+5c/kg quality assurance. The two ICM plants and Dawn Ballyhaunis also went upwards with all three also adding 10c/kg to their quote yesterday morning for lamb resulting in prices of €4.90/kg +10c/kg quality assurance for the two ICMs with Dawn coming in at a straight €4.90/kg.

Official quotes for cull ewes sees Kepak add 5c/kg to their price yesterday morning at €2.70+5c/kg quality bonus which brings them broadly in line with Kildare on €2.70+10c/kg bonus and technically 5c/kg ahead of the two ICMs because neither plant quoted a quality bonus.

In short ewe prices have yet again stayed stable with Kepak just bringing themselves in line with everybody else.

The situation on ground sees the IFA and ICSA describing supplies as tight and that actual factory prices for lamb are now ball park €5.20-5.25/kg while cull ewes remain steady between €2.90-3.00/kg.

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Trade at the marts is also reflecting the improvement in factory quotes with heavy sheep in particular continuing to be in demand.

John Brooks is very strong on the importance of the shipping trade especially this year as sheep numbers head towards four million.

“Shippers last week paid €2.35/kg on weights up to 50kgs for ram lambs which saw farmers realise €117.50/hd verses €107.50-109.65/hd at an all in price of €5.10/kg for factory weights from 20-21.5kgs,” the ICSA man said.

Mart manger Joe Kinsella of Baltinglass agrees saying that marts this year have “offered a real choice to sheep men with factory stock”.

Looking at the bigger picture trade in Britain is reported as steady with sterling fluctuations helping exports, while in France the sheep trade appeared in the early part of this month to be in a trough due to low consumption, but with a combination of the Eid festival along with a series of public holidays to come the expectation is trade will improve.

Marts Roundup


EWE lambs set the pace at Tullow’s 30th annual show and sale with this year’s crop yet again being commented on as among the best bred sheep on show. Praise earns prices as well as prizes with the 38-42kg section delivering from €110-135/hd, while those from 44-48kgs made between €125-155/hd with the 52kg champion clicking an impressive €180. The trade for heavy hoggets was described as “honest” with prices running from €200-220/hd.


The factory lamb trade was similar to previously while there were more store lambs on offer. Stores under 35kgs made from €29-34/hd over the €/kg with 35-40kgs on €35-51/hd over the €/kg. In the 40-50kg section prices ranged from €40-79/hd over their weight with heavier lots making up to €65/hd over the weight. Hogget ewes were a strong trade with farmers keen at prices from €150-190/hd with breeding ewes selling from €100-135/hd.


Joe Kinsella commenting on rising mart numbers reckoned that the mart trade this year has “offered a real choice to sheep men with factory stock”. Numbers of store lambs were significantly bigger while both factory and butcher types were dearer by €`1-2/hd, with 45-55kg making from €100-112/hd. 40-45kgs made from €99-107/hd while lighter stores types sold from €67-87/hd.


There was an improved trade for butcher and factory sheep with live exporters pushing ram lambs to a top of €118/hd for 52kgs. Factory lamb saw 44-49kgs sell from €95-112/hd with 40-43kgs making from €85-97/hd while 35-39kgs sold from €72-87/hd. Lambs under 35kgs sold from €56-83/hd. There was strong farmer demand for ewe lambs with prices running from €82-118/hd with cull ewes making from €65-123/hd.


Lamb prices here saw averages at €85/hd with the top of the market being €124/hd. Stag ewes averaged €87/hd to a top of €120/hd. Moving into the breeding section we see hoggets averaging €164/hd with the top price being €180/hd while ewes averaged €115/hd to a top of €150/hd. Rams averaged €200/hd


Among the breeding sheep hoggets went on well at prices from €140-200/hd while older breeding ewes sold from €86-144/hd, while cull ewes made from €67-108/hd.

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