Sheep Trade & Prices
Throughput: Weekly sheep throughput for week ended January 16th increased by just 73 head on the week previous as factories continue to run at high levels of throughput. For the week, a total of 52,433 sheep were processed in Irish export plants, which is a decline of over 4,500 head on the previous week as there was a large number of carryover hoggets in the first part of 2020.
Throughput so far this year is running slightly above 2020 levels, with 104,793 head sent for processing in the first fortnight of 2021.(+1,070 head)
Live imports of lambs for direct slaughter in the Republic of Ireland have reached 14,043 head for the first 2 weeks of the year, which is a decline in over 2,000 head compared to 12 months ago.
Prices: The average factory price for sheepmeat in Ireland for the week ended January 16th was €5.95/kg, an increase of 34c/kg on the previous week as quotes in factories soared. The GB hogget price for last week was £5.69/kg, which equates to €6.42/kg. Northern Ireland lamb/hogget prices are currently averaging €6.11/kg (£5.41/kg).
Quotes in sheep export plants have steadied after increases in recent weeks. Quotes for the week commencing January 18th were between €6.10-€6.30/kg, with QA lambs still commanding a 10-15c/kg price premium. Some lots of high quality lambs and farmers trading in producer groups are receiving quotes of €6.40/kg and even higher in some cases.
Prices in 2020 were far higher than 2019, with average producer prices 10% higher than 2019 levels (+48c/kg).
See our weekly updated market trends.