Northern sheep trade: Lamb prices continue to come under pressure

The lamb trade in Northern Ireland during the past week has been witnessing a similar story seen down south, with lamb prices coming under more pressure once again.

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) said that quotes from major processors for lambs continued to fall back as the week progressed.

Quotes for lambs ended this past week on 475-490p/kg – back from 500p/kg from the start of the week – up to a 21kg carcass weight.

The LMC added that quotes for early next week are expected to fall back slightly again to range from 470-480p/kg.

Numbers coming on stream continue to climb in the North, with 9,927 lambs processed last week – up 175 lambs from the previous week.

Although, this is back 1,132 head when compared to the 11,059 lambs processed in the same week in 2020.

Lamb exports to the south last week for direct slaughter amounted to 2,573 head – which is back slightly from the week previous.

The LMC said that the average deadweight lamb price in Northern Ireland last week (week ending June 27) notably declined by 35.7p/kg from the previous week to 531.4p/kg.

Mart trade: Lamb prices ‘well back’

The LMC went on to add that marts in the North witnessed a decline in the number of lambs coming through, with prices also “well back”.

Looking at the trade for lambs at some marts, in Massereene Mart this week 839 lambs sold from 430-450p/kg compared to 812 lambs last week selling from 500-537p/kg.

While at Ballymena on Wednesday (June 30), 1,100 lambs sold from 420-519p/kg (average 443p/kg) compared to 1,409 lambs last week selling from 480-511p/kg (490p/kg), the LMC noted.

Lastly, top prices for good quality ewes ranged from £112-189/head across the marts.