Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Lamb trade: Prices remain stable across the board

Michael Harrrington, Castletownbere, Co Cork, tagging his Scotch sheep at Kenmare Mart. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
Michael Harrrington, Castletownbere, Co Cork, tagging his Scotch sheep at Kenmare Mart. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

PRICE for sheep, whether cull ewe, hogget or spring lamb, is similar or has marginally improved on last week - although in one case yesterday, spring lamb was actually quoted at 10c/kg less.

In the factories, prices are at €5.20-€5.25/kg, while

John Lynskey of IFA is more bullish stating that “some top prices of €5.35/kg have been paid”.

The spring lamb trade appears very quiet with prices ranging from €6.20-6.40/kg, while cull ewes hold ground from €2.80-3.20/kg.

Difficult trading conditions at factories wasn’t helped by increased numbers of British lamb coming on stream as their flock expands.

Bord Bia’s latest analysis shows overall throughputs at export meat plants for the week ending March 24 stood at almost 47,000 head — down 4pc or almost 2,000 head on the same week in 2016.

Hoggets totalled around 41,000 head, with adult sheep reaching almost 6,000 head. Cumulative figures for the year to date are up over 45,000

head, or 8pc, compared to the same period in 2016 at 580,000 head.

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Factory quotes yesterday recorded “marginal” improvement from Kildare Chilling with a 5c/kg increase in the price to €5.00 plus 10c/kg bonus, leaving them tied for first place on hoggets with Moyvalley Meats all in €5.10/kg price.

Second place sees both ICM plants and Kepak Athleague on €5/kg, although Kepak shades it as their base is €4.95/kg plus 5c/kg, while the ICMs work off of a base of €4.90 and then a bonus of 10c/kg.

Dawn Ballyhaunis are not far off at €4.90/kg plus 5c/kg, but the pace is slower than the same time in recent years.

Spring lamb

Trade for spring lamb this week sees Moyvalley Meats ease their quote from last week of €6.20/kg ‘all in’ back 10c/kg to €6.10/kg all in.

The ICM plants continue unchanged from last week on a base of €6/kg plus 10c/kg quality bonus.

Kepak Athleague also leave their price for springs alone at last week’s €6/kg as Bertie Mannions replacement, Ronan Collins begins his tenure by not rocking the boat.

Dawn Ballyhaunis did not quote yesterday for spring lamb.

Official quotes for cull ewes sees Dawn Ballyhaunis lift their price by 10c/kg to €2.80/kg, which aligns them with everybody on the sheep table below with the exception of Kepak Athleague.

They remain unchanged on an official quote of €2.80/kg plus 5c/kg bonus, which leaves them the leader in the field for the second consecutive week.

Marts Roundup


Saturday at Baltinglass saw €113-117/hd being paid for hoggets in the 50-70kg range, while 45-50kgs made from €100-108/hd. In the 40-45kg section prices went from €85-102/hd, with 35-40kgs making from €70-84/hd. Cast ewes sold from €70-101/hd, while ewes with lambs at foot made up to €240/hd for those with twins


Although last Saturday saw the biggest sale to date this year, the trade in general remained firm with stag ewes meeting a very strong trade. Prices ranged from €85-145/hd, with a majority in the €120-135hd bracket. Trade for hoggets was well maintained as ewe hoggets from 42-49.3kgs made from €90-110/hd, with six at 58kgs making €127/hd. Among the breeding sheep first crop ewes with singles at foot made up to €153/hd, while doubles came in at a top of €198/hd. Mixed singles and doubles among second crop ewes made from €179-201/hd. Yearlings with single lambs at foot made €175/hd.


There was also a far bigger sale at Carnew last Friday, however, prices were largely unaffected with factory and forward store types actually reported as improved by about €2/hd. Butchers’ hoggets over 50kgs generally ran from €110-116/hd, with the tops making €120/hd. Hoggets in the 45-49kgs weight range sold for €106-113/hd. Factory hoggets from 40-44kgs made from €95/hd to €107/hd, with lighter stock making €76-94/hd. Heavy cull ewes made €115-165/hd, while their lighter sisters sold from €120-160/hd. Ewes with single lambs made €120-175, while those with doubles made up to €225/hd.


Over in Ballinrobe last week numbers also increased with again the trade holding firm. Store lambs made €71-95/hd, while fat lambs made €86-118/hd. Fat ewes made €75-122/hd, with ewe lambs selling from €88-126/hd.


Yesterday at Athenry hogget prices saw 55kgs hit a top of €120/hd, with 50kgs on €115, and 47kgs making €110/hd. The trade for the small number of spring lambs present went to €130/hd for 44-45kgs.


Trade a Ballymote last week was keen with hoggets in the 40-45kg weight range making from €53-55/hd over the €1/kg. Hogget’s from 45-50kgs made from €50-61/hd over their weight, with heavier lots going to €66/hd over the €1/kg. Lighter cull ewes sold from €70-95/hd, with heavier lots making from €100-132/hd.

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