Up to 570c/kg paid as lamb scarcity boosts market

Sheepmet market report
Up to 570c/kg paid as lamb scarcity boosts market

At the annual fatstock show & sale in Bandon mart are the reserve champions, a pen of five suffolk cross lambs average weight 49 kilos that sold for Û 100 each. From left are Pat McCarthy, mart manager, Hugh Kelleher representing owner Jim Tait, Whitegate, Liam McCarthy, Cork Marts buying for Michael Twomey, Macroom & John Stanley, mart chairman.Photo Fergal O'Gorman

The strong trade for lambs continues at factories this week, and demand and prices have taken a leap forward at the marts, where the entries are low.

Quoted prices at the factories remain at 520-540 cents/kg, with the majority of the processors offering at the lower end of that range.

The bonus for quality worth 10 cents/kg is added to these prices as applicable.

With demand strong, and with supplies tight, processors are paying well above the official quotes in order to get sufficient supplies through their gates.

In general, sheep farmers say that 550-560 cents/kg is being paid, and there are some claims that deals for up to 570 cents/kg have been done for lambs this week.

Bord Bia says lots of high-quality lambs, and farmers trading in producer groups, are getting the best prices.

Average lamb prices are running at 9% higher than 2019 so far this year.

Bord Bia says the throughput for the rest of 2020 will remain low, as large numbers of lambs have already passed through export plants, 4% more than the corresponding period in 2019.

Reports from the marts on Monday indicated a “very strong trade” for small entries, with prices improved compared to last week.

There was a small sale of 200 head on Monday at Corrin Mart, where there was a “very, very strong trade”, with up to €82 over being paid for the best of the butchers’ lambs.

The leading price was €135 paid for a pen of eight weighing 53 kgs. A pen of 12 weighing 52 kgs sold for €130, and a pen of 16 weighing 54 kgs sold for €130.

Factory lambs made up to €68 over.

There was also a smaller than usual entry at Kilkenny Mart on Monday for an excellent trade and a full clearance at improved prices. The top price was €127 for a pen of 13 weighing 57 kgs. A pen of 24 weighing 52 kgs sold for €127 and a pen of 20 weighing 50 kgs made €123.

Factory lambs sold for up to €73 over, with very strong demand for all lots.

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