The latest Bord Bia sheepmeat price dashboard for the main sheep producing nations in Europe and further afield shows France regaining the top position for the price paid to its farmers.

An increase of 30c/kg from the previous week brings the average French farmgate price for the week ending 3 April 2021 to €7.65/kg. This is marginally in front of the Irish price, which is reported at €7.24/kg and increases to €7.64/kg when VAT at 5.6% is factored into the price.

The British deadweight price remained static for that week at €7.27/kg, with the Northern Irish price slightly behind at €7.25/kg. These prices are typically running €1/kg above the Spanish price, which along with Ireland and Britain, is one of the main players in terms of exports onto the European market.

The latest price increases leave the French price running €1.12/kg ahead of the corresponding week in 2020, while the Irish price is running €1.87/kg ahead of the corresponding week in 2020. The Northern Irish price is recording the greatest lift and is running some €2.05/kg higher, while the British price is running €1.43/kg higher.

Further increase

Demand is at its strongest across Europe, as markets contend with tight supplies and try to satisfy a robust appetite for sheepmeat, which is being boosted by Ramadan beginning next week (12/13 April). Irish hogget prices have increased by 10c/kg to 20c/kg since mid-week, with farmers trading at the top of the market, securing returns raging from €7.80/kg to €8/kg on Friday. Some deals at the lower level also covered transport costs.

Spring lamb prices have also firmed, but a wide variation exists depending on the negotiating power of the producer. Prices range anywhere from €8/kg to €8.30/kg, with higher relative prices paid in mart sales by butcher and wholesale buyers.

The trade in Britain has firmed significantly this week, with this being particularly true for the live trade. The standard quality quotation (SQQ) price for old season lamb jumped by 20p/kg to 30p/kg on the week previous, with prices exceeding £3.00/kg and recorded at £3.14/kg on Thursday (€3.65/kg).

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