A buoyant sheep trade has seen the first factory quotes for spring lambs opening at record levels, with offers of 700p/kg midweek.

Deals of 710p/kg have been paid to 21kg making factory lambs worth £149.

While some plants are working to quotes of 675p to 690p/kg, supplies are limited and factory agents are offering the higher prices to secure numbers.

Last year, spring lambs started on 430p/kg which is a difference of £57/head.

Back in 2019, spring lambs opened around the 500p/kg mark. While numbers coming on the market are relatively small, processors have used the availability of some spring lambs to keep a lid on the hogget trade.

Base quotes for hoggets have eased by 10p/kg to 620p/kg, although there are plenty of reports of 640p to 650p/kg being paid midweek.

Buying demand is expected to rise again as Ramadan gets under way next month, and that should keep a floor in the sheep trade in the weeks ahead.

Cattle rising

Meanwhile the cattle trade is edging upwards as supplies tighten. A number of factories have added 2p/kg to base quotes, taking them to around the 370p/kg mark, but in reality most farmers are starting with prices of 380p/kg.

Deals in the range of 382p/kg to 388p/kg covers the majority of steers and heifers moving off farms.

In the cow trade, well fleshed suckler types are making 300p/kg to 320p/kg.

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Up to €7.80/kg on offer for spring lambs – IFA

Watch back: Tullamore Farm sheep and lambing webinar