The sheep trade remains firm despite some strengthening in domestic supplies.Trade is being underpinned by steady demand across the main export markets.
Quotes for hoggets by the end of the week were generally making between €5.20 - €5.30/kg. While base quotes for spring lamb supplies eased slightly to around €5.90/kg, although higher prices are available for export quality lamb. Prices paid for cull ewes were generally making between €1.90-2.00/kg.
Weekly sheep supplies for the week ending the 18th May were around 7,400 head lower compared to the same week in 2012 at 37,800 head. To date this year, sheep supplies are 156,000 head higher.
Trade across the UK eased during the week, on the back of some strengthening in supplies combined with some slowdown in demand across key export markets. By the weekend, old season lamb at live markets across England and Wales were making the equivalent of around €4.84/kg dw, while new season lamb was making €6.23/kg.
In France, trade for new season lamb weakened during the week, reflecting increased volumes of UK and Irish product on the market. By the end of the week, the Irish Grade1 lamb was making up to €6.30/kg. At the moment, French lamb is making from between €7 to €8.50/kg depending on quality.
Ex Rungis Lamb Prices (covered lamb) 22nd May, 2013 (€/kg)
Grade U, French 7.50, Imported 6.40: R, French 6.90, Imported 6.30; O, French 6.80, Imported 6.10