The price pressure which has entered the sheep trade in recent weeks remains in place at the start of this week and in cases has intensified.

A couple of plants are offering a 5c/kg to 10c/kg lower base price, with the base quotes for Tuesday ranging on average from €6.70/kg to €6.80/kg.

Kildare Chilling remains on top of the quotes table with its base quote of €6.80/kg plus 10c/kg quality assurance bonus.

Regular sellers and producer groups continue to secure prices of up to 25c/kg to 30c/kg higher by means of greater negotiating power and the producer-group bonus mechanism.

Factories are trying to limit prices paid to regular sellers outside of this payment mechanism to a top of €7.00/kg.

Strong focus on weights

There is also a continued strong focus on carcase weights, with more plants said to be considering introducing price penalties on lambs weighing in excess of 25kg.

Kildare Chilling started quoting a top price of €150/head for lambs delivering a carcase in excess of 25kg at the end of last week and has reduced this price to €145/head.

NI trade

The trade in Northern Ireland is also facing downward pressure, with a number of plants reducing base quotes by 5p/kg to 10p/kg to £5.50/kg to £5.55/kg. This is the equivalent of €6.57/kg to €6.63/kg at an exchange rate of 83.6p to the euro.

Regular sellers and producer groups are receiving 10p/kg to 15p/kg above quoted prices.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) daily liveweight lamb price update shows the average standard quality quotation old-season lamb price for Monday running 5p/kg lower week on week at an average of 267.7p/kg or €3.20/kg.