Further easing in lamb prices at factories this week has disappointed sheep farmers, continuing a downward price trend for a third consecutive week.
Prices being offered are on a base of 450 cent/kg (160p/lb). Most of the plants are adding the usual bonus for quality, but Kepak (Athleague) offers an all-in 450 cent/kg. The other exception to the pattern is an all-in price of 460 cent/kg on offer at Moyvalley Meats, Co Kildare.
Reports from around the country indicate that processors are paying 5-10 cent/kg above the quotes for lambs, and producers are being encouraged by the IFA to negotiate the best deals they can.
At the marts on Monday, trading continued tougher than previous weeks. Butchers paid up to €57 over for the tops and the factory lambs sold for up to €51 over.
At Corrin Mart (Fermoy) on Monday, the butchers lambs sold for €97 to €108/head, equivalent to €47 over to €56 over. The factory lots made €45 to €95/head, or €23 over to €51 over.
At Kilkenny Mart on Monday, where there was a large sale of 1,500 head, the butchers lambs sold for €48 over to €57 over, and factory lambs made €40 over to €50 over.
The trade in the UK was maintained last week, despite some fall off in demand. By last weekend, new season lambs at live markets across Great Britain were still making the equivalent of around 460c/kg.
In France, demand for lamb has slipped slightly in response to on-going in-store promotions for poultry, pork and beef. This has reduced demand for Irish grade 1 spring lamb, with prices falling to 475/kg by last weekend.
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