The sheep trade is starting the week in a largely steady manner.

Factories moved at the end of last week and over the weekend to reduce prices paid by 5c/kg to 10c/kg.

This was apparent in quotes initially offered to some producer groups, but with demand remaining strong, these price cuts did not materialise and the majority of sheep traded on Monday were unchanged.

Base quotes

As such, base quotes continue to range from €6.00/kg to €6.20/kg. This is leading to a wide differential in prices paid between plants, with a high percentage of quality assured (QA) lambs trading in a price range of €6.15/kg to €6.30/kg.

Lambs traded through producer groups or from regular sellers handling large numbers are, in cases, securing an additional 5c/kg to 10c/kg, while top prices including conformation bonuses for U grade lambs range from €6.45/kg to €6.50/kg.

Ewe trade

The ewe trade is easier in some plants, with quotes easing by 10c/kg on the back of higher ewe numbers in the market over the last three weeks.

Quotes range from €3.10/kg to €3.30/kg in the main, with prices secured ranging from €3.20/kg to €3.40/kg depending on the negotiating power of sellers.