Sheep Trade & Prices
Throughput: There were 57,768 sheep processed in DAFM approved plants during the week ending November 19th, 2022. Of this figure, 48,829 were lambs. Weekly lamb throughput is operating at similar levels to previous years however there are a significant number of lambs still on farm that would have been processed in previous years. The lamb kill for 2022 to date is running roughly 67,000 head behind 2021 levels and with additional ewes on farm at the last census the number of additional lambs on farm is likely to be in the region of 90,000 head. This will result in a higher lamb throughput in Q4 of this year and also a larger carryover of hoggets into 2023. With extra lambs in the system producers are being encouraged to keep lambs moving once they meet market specifications. Meanwhile ewe throughput is trending higher with 30,000 additional ewes processed since June 2022 when compared to the same period last year.
Prices: Base quotes for lambs are in the region of €6.00/kg (plus QA bonus) with slightly stronger prices of €6.10-€6.20/kg (plus QA bonus) available for producers with good negotiating power and lambs that meet market specification. The deadweight lamb trade has been holding relatively steady in recent weeks with an average price during the week ending November 19th, 2022 of €6.26/kg. While this is 8c/kg above the previous week’s price, it is running 84c/kg behind the €7.10/kg paid in the same week last year and should also be taken in the context of higher costs of production at farm level. The deadweight prices currently available are reflective of a more difficult trading environment for lamb. Inflation pressures are impacting demand for lamb in key export markets and also on the domestic market, with weaker demand in particular for larger and more valuable cuts.
See our weekly updated market trends.