Irish Sheep Trade & Prices w/e June 1st 2024

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Quotes: Base quotes for hoggets from the major processors have tightened this week with base quotes of €8.80-€9.20/kg (+QA bonus) on offer. Small numbers of spring lambs have started to be processed in Irish processing plants with quotes of €9.10-9.20/kg (+QA bonus) available.

The strong deadweight trade at the minute is being driven by the tighter supplies of suitable hoggets for processing and spring lambs have been slow to come forward also.


The tight supply situation has not been confined to Ireland, with hogget throughput in the UK so far this year operating five per cent behind 2023 levels with reports of significant numbers of ewe lambs previously set aside for breeding now being processed. The latest supply forecast for the EU has indicated a two per cent decline in throughput during the first half of 2024 which equates to a 580,000 head reduction in the sheep kill. Tighter supplies are expected until the 2024 lamb crop starts to come forward for processing in significant numbers.


Demand for lamb on both the domestic and export markets has shown some signs of recovery as indicated by Kantar figures and Bord Bia’s own market insights. However, while consideration for lamb has recorded some improvement in recent months lamb continues to be the most exposed to shifts in consumer buying habits as the highest priced protein.


Prices: Last weeks reported price increased to €9.12/kg, an increase of 11c/kg from the week previous. In the corresponding week in 2023 the reported price was €7.41/kg. The deadweight trade has also remained firm in the UK regions with reported spring lamb prices the equivalent of €10.48/kg (+1c/kg) in mainland GB last week while the reported price in Northern Ireland was €9.54/kg (-1c/kg) for w/e June 1st 2024. Southern Hemisphere prices remain well below European prices which makes Southern Hemisphere product very competitive on EU markets, even with the extra costs of transport factored in. Deadweight lamb prices in Australia and New Zealand were the equivalent of €4.18/kg and €3.57/kg respectively last week.


Throughput: The total sheep kill in DAFM approved plants for week ending June 1st 2024 was 42,815 head, back marginally from the corresponding week in 2023. Throughput for the year to date has totalled 1,042,642 head, 10% behind the corresponding period in 2023. The hogget kill for the year to date has totalled 852,215 head, operating 9% behind 2023 levels. Meanwhile the ewe/ram kill year to date is back by 14,870 head (-13 %) to 101,896 head. Spring lambs have started to increase for processing  with 88,612 processed so far this year.

Bord Bia

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