The sheep trade is in the midst of peak processing activity this week.

Agents are working round the clock to source and organise sheep throughput, with this week’s kill almost certain to record the highest level of 2022.

Factory base quotes are unchanged at a range of €7.25/kg to €7.40/kg, with opening prices including bonuses for quality assured (QA) lamb in the region of €7.40/kg to €7.50/kg.

Regular sellers and producers handling larger numbers are securing 10c/kg to 20c/kg higher returns, with prices towards the top end of the market ranging from €7.60/kg to €7.70/kg.

Different routines

Some plants are weighing ram lambs in certain consignments or on certain day’s processing with their testicles intact to satisfy demand from certain customers.

A number of plants are also considering processing next Saturday, with demand for the festival, which runs from 9 to 13 July, set to run into the start of next week.

Agents are also active in sales and competing with buyers purchasing sheep for exporting live. This is generally confined to fleshed ram lambs, with suitably matched lots in cases capable of securing a premium on price.

As such, mart managers continue to advise farmers to batch lambs accordingly.

Reports from sales on Monday point to more bite in the trade, but no major change in prices paid.

Lambs weighing 48kg to 50kg are trading from €155 to €166, depending on quality, with the best-quality lots rising to €170.