There has been significant upward movement in lamb quotes on Monday, with factories lifting base quotes by 20c/kg.

Kildare Chilling continues to set the pace and is the first plant to breach the €7/kg mark, with its base quote of €7/kg plus 10c/kg quality assurance (QA) payment.

The move has put pressure on competing plants to follow suit, with the two Irish Country Meats Plants in Camolin and Navan also increasing their base quotes for Tuesday to €6.85/kg plus their 20c/kg QA payment.

Reports indicate other plants not offering official quotes have also adopted a similar pricing position, with base quotes ranging from €6.90/kg to €6.95/kg.


This means that quality assured lambs are now trading in all plants above €7/kg, with significant numbers trading north of €7.10/kg.

Farmers selling through producer groups or handling large numbers are securing returns ranging from €7.20/kg to €7.25/kg, with top prices rising to €7.30/kg to €7.40/kg. Reports indicate that numbers remain relatively tight, despite the upward movement in the trade.

The upward movement in the factory trade has closed the margin with mart prices. Live prices had trended ahead of factory prices in recent weeks, encouraging more farmers to present sheep live rather than direct for slaughter.

Hoggets weighing upwards of 50kg are trading in recent days for an average price of €160 to €167, with heavier lots weighing upwards of 55kg rising in cases to upwards of €170/head. Hoggets lacking flesh cover are trading back to the mid-€150s.

Ewe trade

The ewe trade has also firmed, with greater appetite for all classes of ewes. Factory quotes range from €3.00/kg to €3.40/kg, with the main processing plants in general lagging behind the live trade for heavier ewes.

Fleshed ewes weighing 85kg to 90kg-plus are trading from €140 to €175, depending on quality and flesh cover, with top-quality heavy ewes weighing as much as 100kg selling to €200 and over on occasion.

Northern trade

There is upward pressure on the trade in Northern Ireland, with factories paying more to regular sellers to ward off interest from agents purchasing sheep for direct export in southern plants.

Prices are typically starting at £5.75/kg to £5.80/kg, but prices at the top end of the market are rising to £5.90/kg to £6.00/kg, although processors are reluctant to give in on paying £6.00/kg (€7.03/kg).