Heavy lamb prices up by €2-5 a head

Heavy lamb prices up by €2-5 a head

Farming Lamb trade / sheep prices stock / iStock

Lamb producers are hoping that the return of a stable trade at the factories this week has settled the turbulence of the market experienced in recent weeks.

The factory prices across the country are unchanged at 630 cents/kg for the lambs at the majority of the factories this week, with the suppliers breathing some relief from the downward slide and hoping that the price fall has finally bottomed out for the season.

A base of 640 cents/kg is being offered at one of the processors, and the bonus for quality continues for the qualifying lambs at all of the processors.

The factories are still keen on getting supplies and are reported to be paying around 650 cents/kg, with some deals at up to 670 cents/kg being secured.

The farming organisations had mounted pressure on the processors over the past fortnight over the scale of cuts applied and the effect it was having on the returns to producers.

The drop in the factory prices had been reflected in the live trade at the marts, where the prices had fallen sharply since June.

George Candler, auctioneer at Kilkenny Mart, said that the more stable trade at the factories has brought some relief.

"It would appear that the dramatic fall of last week has been halted with a better trade all round. 

"Lambs with flesh in excess of 46kg increased by €2 to €5 per head compared to last week," he said of Monday's sale.

"It still should be noted that last week's decrease was €15 to €20 per head, so the drop still remains in the region of €12 to €14 per head compared to prices of two weeks ago", he added.

On Monday, butchers paid up to €99 over for the lambs at Kilkenny. There was a top price of €149 for a pen of eight weighing 52kg, while a lot of 13 weighing 48kg made €147, and a pen of 10 at 51kg sold for €147. The factory-type lambs made up to €90 over.

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