THERE is very little change in the lamb prices at the factories from last week’s level, which is a mixture of good or bad news, depending on the direction from which it is viewed.
The base prices being offered by the processors range from 347c to 350c/kg (124p to 125p/lb) with the usual bonus payment of 6c/kg (2p/lb) for quality lots. Some produces are negotiating slightly higher returns in direct deals with factories. Overall, the trade is steady, but no more than that.
Prices at the mart sales for the early days of this week were steady at last week’s rates, while supplies were back.
The intake at the factories continues to trail, but the expected benefit from that is being at least partly offset by the strong competition on the French market from low-cost supplies of lamb from Britain, which are being offered at very competitive prices.
In Britain, prices had by the weekend regained some of the ground lost during the earlier days of the week, while still finishing slightly lower than a week earlier.
Although supplies are light on the French market, consumer demand is reported to be sluggish with plenty of competition from British supplies.
Nonetheless, the top Irish lamb gained up to 10c/kg on the market during the week and was selling for 390c to 400c/kg.
In the marts there was a smaller sale of 400 head at Fermoy on Monday where the trade was steady and prices similar to the previous week. The butcher’s lambs made €80/head to €95/head which was equivalent to €30 over to €42 over. The factory lambs made €34/head to €80/head which worked out at €10 over to €34 over.
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