Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Lamb Trade: Ramadan factor boosts prices by up to €10/hd

Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

AS THE Ramadan festival draws closer, the effect of this major religious event at sheep marts was plain to see.

Mart managers at both Manorhamilton and Roscrea were reporting spring lamb prices up by €4-5/hd, and by the weekend that €4-5 had become €8-10/hd at Mountbellew asfactories became very fit for lamb.

That “fitness” is however only slowly beginning to manifest itself for those whose sheep remain on the land.

While both John Lynskey of the IFA and the ICSA’s John Brooks maintain prices for lamb are in the €6.10-6.20/kg region, with hogget a euro further back at €5.10-5.20/kg, that only equates to a 5-10c/kg improvement in prices on last week.

Factory bosses will try to play down the urgency of getting numbers but numbers are the thing that will be wanted in the next couple of weeks as both wholesalers and factories gear up properly for Ramadan.

Looking at where official factory quotes are at this week you can begin to see the first signs that there is some traction on price with the two ICM plants the biggest movers as they lift their quote for spring lamb by 20c/kg to €5.90+10c/kg quality bonus.

Their quote for hogget is up by 10c/kg to €4.80+10QA. Leading on price across the board however are Kildare Chilling while they only put up their quote for lamb by 10c/kg they sit at the top of the pile on €6.00/kg +10c/kg bonus.

Kildare’s price for hogget is also best at €5.00+10c/kg bonus, an increase of 5c/kg on their base of €4.95/kg from last week.

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Their price of €2.60+10c/kg bonus for cull ewes is unchanged from last week but they are still a full 10c/kg ahead of their rivals.

The only issue with Kildare’s prices is as of yesterday morning there were hints from the company that these prices may not hold.

Chief among Kildare’s rivals on price this week are Kepak Athleague who yesterday morning closed the gap between them on hoggets to 5c/kg with an improved quote of €5.00+5c/kg bonus for this week they also moved their quote for springs up to €6.00/kg+5c/kg thus keeping it close between themselves and Kildare.

While Dawn Ballyhaunis may be bottom of the pile on lambs alongside Moyvalley at €5.90/kg, Dawn did rise their quote for hogget from last week’s €4.70/kg+5QA to €4.90 this week.

The story on the cull ewes is “as you were” with Kildare the leader on €2.60+10c/kg bonus while everyone else sits 10c/kg further back at €2.50/kg.

In conclusion prices are rising but be careful in advance on how you negotiate weights and fat cover.

Marts Roundup


“THE factory boys were very keen and prices for spring lamb were probably up €4-5/hd as a result, said mart manager Ivan Moffitt. That €4-5/hd increase saw spring lamb range from €114.50/hd for 42kgs to €140/hd for 48kgs. Hoggets, of which there were “a good few”, saw prices move from €106/hd for a batch of 52 at 45kgs, to a top of €119.50/hd for 51.5kgs. Ewes with lambs at foot were also a nice trade with lowland ewes with twins making up to €180/hd.


Spring lamb were also up that €4-5/hd with manager Michael Harty commenting “Sheep numbers were back a bit but spring lamb was €4-5/hd better”. Prices for those springs ranged from €115-127/hd, while cull ewes sold to a top of €110/hd. Ewes with twin lambs at foot sold up to €220/hd.


There was a good show of sheep with the trade described as “improved to strong” according to manager Thomas Potterton. Spring lamb made from €110-123/hd or €2.42-2.60/kg with cull ewes making from €70-100/hd. Among the ewes with lambs at foot prices ran from €120-180/hd.


Trade saw spring lamb prices push upwards to a top of €127/hd off an average price of €114/hd, while hoggets sold to a high of €119/hd off a €112/hd average. Stag ewes also had a good day with their prices ranging from €85-110/hd, while averages in the ewes with lambs at foot settled at €168/hd with the top here being €210/hd.


Larger numbers but 100pc clearance sends a very positive message on the state of the sheep trade. Prices for spring lamb ranged from €104/hd at 39kg up to €128/hd for 49kgs, with those heavier types reported as improved by €8-10/hd. Hoggets also moved well with 50.9kgs ewe hoggets making €123/hd, while at the other end, the 68.3/kg ewe hoggets made €146/hd. There was an improved trade for stag ewes especially for heavier types with prices from €82-114/hd.


It was reported as “a flyer of a sale” yesterday with butchers in particular described as very keen for heavier lamb. With the competition hot and heavy those heavier springs in the 47-58kgs bracket made from €50-82/hd over the €/kg with one 50kg lot hitting €89/kg with the €/kg.

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