Processors’ caution on forward prices fuels lamb trade confusion

Some uncertainty continues around the lamb trade at the factories, with the processors more cautious about committing to prices forward even to the end of the week.

Holding their cards very close to their chest, some of the processors are operating on a day-to-day price and not quoting forward, while others are offering quotes varying from a drop of up to 20 cents per kilogramme, to similar to last week rate. 

The result of this uncertainty is a price range from 490c/kg, plus the usual bonus payments of up to 10c/kg for quality at the upper end of the scale to an all-in price of 480c/kg at the bottom.

The trade at the mart sales on Monday eased back, with prices down by €3-€5/head.

There were 500 head on offer at Corrin Mart in Cork this week, where the increased entry met with an easier trade.

The butchers lambs sold for €45 over to €63 over and the factory lots made up to €51 over.

There were 770 head on offer at Kilkenny where prices were back by up to €5/head on the previous week.

Butchers lambs sold for up to €62 over and the factory lots made up to €56 over.

In Britain, some upturn in the trade was reported due to currency fluctuations making UK lamb exports more competitive. The lambs were making the equivalent of around 500c/kg during last week.

In France, the market benefited from the end of Ramadan, but is expected to ease, with an anticipated drop in demand due to summer holidays.

Plentiful supplies of UK lamb have been reported on the market over the past week, while most promotions were centred on French beef and pork.

However there were some retail promotions on both domestic and imported forequarter lamb. Grade 1 lamb in Rungis was making around 567c/kg (incl VAT) in the early part of last week.


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