Sheep Trade & Prices
Throughput: Weekly sheep throughput for week ended April 3rd decreased by 7,492 head on the week previous, following a 4 day kill last week on account of Good Friday. With the prices quoted to producers still at record highs, factories are keen to secure supplies in the run up to Ramadan, which commences next week. For the week, a total of 42,354 sheep were processed in Irish export plants, which is a decrease of 3,312 head on the same week 12 months ago.
Throughput in Irish export meat plants is running 8% below 2020 levels, with 598,851 head sent for processing in the first 13 weeks of 2021 (-53,809 head). Hogget throughput is 8% lower compared to 12 months ago, with ewes and ram throughput 14% lower than last year.
Live imports of lambs for direct slaughter in the Republic of Ireland have reached 62,844 head for the first 13 weeks of the year, which is a decline of over 27,800 head compared to 12 months ago. (-31%)
Prices: The average factory price for sheepmeat in Ireland for the week ended April 3rd was €7.24/kg, which was unchanged from the previous week, and 35% higher than the same week last year. The GB hogget price for last week was £6.19/kg, which equates to €7.27/kg. Northern Ireland lamb/hogget prices were not available at the time of publication
Quotes in sheep export plants have strengthened again in the aftermath of the Easter period as sheep supplies remain exceptionally tight. Quotes for hoggets for the week commencing April 6th were between €7.30-€7.50/kg, with QA lambs still commanding a 10-15c/kg premium in export meat plants. Some lots of high quality hoggets and farmers trading in producer groups are receiving quotes of over €7.60/kg and even higher in some cases. Spring lambs quotes have also risen in the past week, with majority of the export plants working off a base of €7.85/kg. With Ramadan commencing from the 13th of April, export meat plants will continue to source Irish sheepmeat to satisfy orders in the main export markets.
See our weekly updated market trends.