There was no change early this week in lamb prices at factories, where the supply remains tight and returns to sheep farmers continue well ahead of 2020.
Processors offered 750 cents/kg for new season lamb with the bonus for quality to be added, but the under-supplied market is delivering an extra 30-50 cents/kg to farmers.
The word is that hard-selling sheep farmers are holding out for €8/kg or as close as they can get to it this week, and processors who need lambs have to pay up.
Hoggets are still in demand to offset a spring lambs shortage, and are making 730-740 cents/kg (although the official quote is only a base of 700 cents).
Bord Bia figures showed spring lambs were 36% of the throughput in the last week of April, and 13,000 more spring lambs than in 2020 were sent for processing, up to May.
At the marts on Monday, with entries for the sales low, the trade for butchers lambs and factory supplies continued very strong.
There were 300 head on offer Monday at Corrin Mart, where butchers paid up to €126 over.
A pen of nine weighing 50 kgs sold for €176, and a pen of four weighing 53 kgs made €178.
A pen of five weighing 52 kgs sold for €176. Factory lots made up to €122 over.
Kilkenny mart had a small entry of 300 head and a continuing strong trade with a top price of €135 over for spring lambs. The top price was €187 for a pen of five lambs weighing 52 kgs.
A pen of five weighing 50 kgs made €183, and a pen of eight weighing 48 kgs sold for €180.
Factory lots sold for up to €123 over.