WEAKER overall demand has been reflected in a drop in prices for lambs at factories this week.
The quoted prices have been cut by 10-15 cents/kg (4p-6p/lb), with the base dropping to 420 cents/kg (150p/lb) plus the usual bonus for quality at most of the plants this week.
The exception to the general run is the Co Kildare-based Moyvalley Meats, where they are quoting an all-in price of 425 cents/kg (152p/lb).
There was some variation in the trade at the marts for the opening sales this week. While some centres reported a steady trade, prices were back as much as €8 per head at other locations. Generally, numbers on offer were higher than last week.
There were 660 head on offer at Fermoy on Monday, where the trade was reported to be “good”. Butchers paid €87 to €106/head. which worked out at €39 over to €52 over. Factory and store lambs sold for €55 to €94/head, or €18 over for the stores to €48 over for the factory lots.
At Kilkenny Mart on Monday, there was a large sale of 1,800 head. Prices were generally back €5-8/head. Butchers paid €40 over to €50 over, and the factory lambs made €38 over to €45 over.
The supply of lambs in Britain eased through last week. Prices averaged the equivalent of 441 c/kg (157p/lb) including VAT early last week, before easing back to finish at 421 c/kg (150p/lb), including VAT, as the trade weakened due to large supplies coming on to the market. In France, quotes for Grade 1 Irish spring lamb delivered to Paris were reportedly steady through last week, still making 445-450 c/kg (159p-161p/lb), including VAT. However, demand has been slow to respond to the close of Ramadan festivities towards the end of the week, and this is likely to impact on the demand and prices at the Irish plants as this week progresses.
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