Last week’s kill figure is unavailable for another day or two, but reports indicate it was a bumper kill, with many plants extending working hours towards the end of the week in particular and also operating to varying levels on Saturday.

It is not surprising that the intensity in the trade has slowed at the start of this week.

There is still demand for the Eid al-Adha festival, which started on Monday 19 July, but it is for smaller numbers, with the bulk of orders filled at this stage.

Monday's quotes

Quotes for Monday are generally in the region of €6.10/kg, with prices for quality assured (QA) lambs ranging in general from €6.20/kg to €6.30/kg for sellers with little to average negotiating power, while at the higher end of the market, prices are in the region of €6.40/kg and possibly 5c/kg to 10c/kg higher where bonus payments are concerned.

Reports predict that supplies coming on to the market could fall well back as the week progresses.

This assessment is stemming from the intensity at which lambs were drafted last week and also owing to the fact that lambs were drafted at lighter than normal weights, meaning that for some there could now be a lag of one to two weeks before their next pull of lambs.

Mart trade

The mart trade in recent days has been a little easier for slaughter-fit lambs. Agents are keen for sheep, but are more cautious due to factories instilling some uncertainty into the trade.

Kilkenny Mart auctioneer George Candler reported Monday’s sale being back a few euro in price, but still a good trade given how strong the trade was last week.

The top price secured was €148 compared with a number of pens rising last week to the mid-€150s.

Lambs weighing 48kg upwards sold from €140 to €148.

Lambs weighing 42kg to 46kg sold from €115 to €131, while store lambs weighing 39kg to 40kg sold from €107 to €115 and lots weighing 32kg to 36kg sold from €97 to €102.