Lamb prices fall 10-15c/kg in fresh blow to farmers

Prices continued to fluctuate yesterday, with another 10-15c/kg lowering lamb quotes and withdrawing 10c/kg.

These latest cuts bring the cumulative drop in factory prices for lamb over the past six weeks to €1.10-1.15/kg, with reductions of up to 50c/kg.

On the lamb side, Don Ballyhunis has returned from 15c/kg to €6.70+10c/kg quality assurance, with the same mark at 10c/kg at ICM plants.

The Kildare chilling is also at €6.70+10c/kg QA – their first official quote for lamb since the end of June, when they were at €7.40+10c/kg QA.

ICSA’s Sean McNamara was not amused and looks forward to meeting with the processor this week to discuss the pricing situation.

He said he would put forth the concerns of all Irish sheep farmers “very clearly” and sought credible explanations as to why prices have fallen.

“I was in the sheep farms in Wales last week and saw the effect of the recent warm weather on the lambs,” he said. “They were underdeveloped and nowhere near as fit as they should be due to the heat – a situation very much in England as well.

“It is fair to assume that given the extreme heat on the continent, lamb production in France and Spain has also suffered. So I am not buying the factory line that there is no market.”

Sean claimed: “It is the farmer who is being asked to cover the increased costs of the factory and supermarket and to maintain his profits, while simultaneously holding the consumer on the other end to the price.”

Shawn advises producers not to sell under-prepared lamb, noting that the increased cost of food has resulted in very few sheep farmers choosing to feed lambs this summer.

“The lambs are dying badly because of the hot weather, plus most have not been fed,” he said. “It’s a very good lamb at 40kg that will die at 21kg this year – the boys should consider laying them down. If they’re not feeding, maybe run them up to 50kg.”

Yesterday’s comments from factories focused on the business of being only “so” in general and claims that the carcass trade was cool.

If trade could be affected by a drop in demand from the continent for carcase lamb, it raises the question of how advanced factories’ understanding of the added value product is, that is, pre-packaged or prepared lamb meal.

Also, the level of supermarket promotion has dropped dramatically this year.

I understand consumers are price conscious but if it’s about price, companies like Gucci and Mercedes won’t be worth billions of billionaire entities.

Wexford Strawberries and Potatoes are currently for sale along local roadsides. They’re also better quality, and ridiculously endearing too, but they sell for up to 4.0 every day. Lessons to be learned.

around the mart


Last week’s sales turned out well, with butcher-type lambs topping out for €2.92/kg or €152/hd 52kg.

The best 46-46.5kg lamb in the factory section sold for €146-150/hd or €3.17-3.23/kg, while a batch at 45kg broke down at €3.31/kg or €149/hd.

The highest number of calls to stores were received with an average batch of 34.6 kg, which sold for €3.44/kg at €119/hd.

Altogether 85-93kgs sold from €170-190/hd, with 56-68kgs making €104-120/hd.


Last Wednesday evening 600 sheep were presented here. Paul Sheridan reported good demand with good holdings of trade, and said: “Living trade continues to return more than dead business.”

Factory lambs included 43kgs at €140/hd and 49.5kgs at €151/hd.

There was strong demand from stores, with 33kg of lamb selling up to €97/hd, while 30kg of lamb made up to €113/hd.

Well-muscled Kal ewes clocked in at 90kgs made €166/hd with 75-88kgs €149-162/hd; Less meat 70kg cult sold from €112-113/hd.


There was a slightly easier trade for fattened lambs and butcher types, but the future of the industry looks secure, with plenty of lamb activities suitable for early lambs.

Among the heavy lambs, 55kgs sold for €153/hd while the 47–48kg segment made €144–147/hd; 43–46kg top out at €141/hd, with fifteen 40kg lamb averaging €118/hd.

The typical run of 35–37kg stores sold for €97–108/hd, while the better 33–35kg stores made €93–96/hd.

Cast eaves sold for €107–138/hd, with reproduction eaves €156–170/hd.


There were 400 sheep offered here last week, James Cooney said, adding that despite the drop in factory prices, sellers got better than expected.

Sample prices saw 44kg lambs sell for up to €144/hd, with 48kg going up to €148/hd, while 50kg lambs peak at €150/hd.

Stores were rare but 39kgs sold for €119/hd.

The message among Rogue Wolves was heavier, with 90–95kgs selling for €188–188/HD while 103kg sold for €208.


There was an increased entry here with lamb prices averaging €3.05/kg overall.

Lambs of 21-37 kg are sold for €60-115/hd, and the heavier types sell for upwards of €150/hd. The massive Cool Eve was also in demand, with prices between €80-204/hd.


Here the numbers remain stable, business is also on hold.

Last week the heavier lamb included 50.9kgs at €157/hd, with the better 53kgs making up €154-155/hd, while 50.5kgs made up to €150/hd.

In the middle segment 44.4kg was sold for €145/hd, with both 45.5kg and 47kg seeing a top of €148/hd. On the store side 40.3-42.3kgs made €134-136/HD, with 36-38kgs at €121-138/hd, while 34.5kgs made €113/HD.

Cast eaves sold for €80-196/hd.