Sheep numbers have tightened further in recent days, leaving factories struggling to get their hands on required numbers. This is inserting significantly more life into the market and is reflected in base quotes rising by 5c/kg to 10c/kg on Monday, while mart prices have increased by anywhere from €3 to €7 per head on average.
Kildare Chilling continues to set the pace in the trade, with their spring lamb quote now standing at €8.10/kg plus their 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) bonus. This is an increase of 10c/kg on last Thursday’s quote and a 20c/kg increase in the last 10 days.
The increase is forcing other plants to also raise their quotes in order to stay in contention, with reports indicating other plants have increased quotes by 5c/kg to 10c/kg, or a base of €7.95/kg to €8/kg.
Regular sellers and those handling significant numbers are securing returns of €8.20/kg to €8.25/kg, with top prices rising 5c/kg to 10c/kg higher. Fleshed lambs weighing 42kg to 45kg are trading from €163 to €168 on average in mart sales, with heavier lambs weighing upwards of 50kg selling to the mid-€170s. A selection of heavy butcher-type lambs hit €180 and higher on occasion.
The hogget trade has also firmed, with numbers following a swift seasonal decline. Kildare Chilling is quoting a base of €7.20/kg plus 10c/kg QA, representing an increase of 10c/kg on last week. This is setting the benchmark price for hoggets at €7.20/kg to €7.30/kg, while specialist finishers and those handling large numbers are securing anywhere from €7.30/kg to €7.50/kg, depending on their negotiating power.