Upward lamb price trend comes to a halt

THERE has been a slight easing in lamb prices for this week at factories, ending the upward price trend of the past three weeks.

While some of the plants have maintained prices similar to last week, quoting a base of 365 cents/kg (130p/lb), the first indication that the upward movement is coming to an end emerged with most processors reducing quoted prices by 5 cents/kg (2p/lb) to 360 cents/kg (128p/lb). The usual bonus payments for quality apply to these quotes.

In the marts on Monday, prices were improved by €2 to €4 per head in steady demand for the smaller entries.

There was a small sale of 450 head at Corrin Mart, near Fermoy, on Monday, where there was a “steady” trade.

Butchers paid €80 to €94 per head for lambs, which was equivalent to €30 over to €43 over. The factory lots ranged from €55 to €78 per head, or up to €33 over.

At Kilkenny Mart on Monday, where there was also a reduced entry, of 700 head, prices were improved by up to €4 per head. Butchers paid €32 over to €35 over, and the factory lambs sold for €30 over to €34 over. Store lambs were also in demand, at €30 over to €31 over.

The trade in Britain has continued to benefit from tight supplies and strong demand across the channel in France. Towards the end of last week, an average price equivalent to 407c/kg (145p/lb), including VAT, was being paid to farmers.

In France, demand for Irish lamb has been helped by the reduced supply from Britain, coupled with an increase in consumer demand.

However demand levels are expected to ease following the Eid religious festival.

Towards the end of last week, Irish Grade 1 lambs delivered to Paris were generally making 410 to 420c/kg. (146p to 150p/lb).


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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