Northern sheep trade: Lamb prices strengthen

Lamb prices in Northern Ireland (NI) have strengthened over the past week – similar to what has been seen in the Republic of Ireland (ROI).

Quotes ended this week on 480-510p/kg up to a 21kg carcass weight. Quotes for next week are expected to strengthen once again, with quotes for Monday (July 12) expected to be in the region of 500-530p/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Looking at throughput last week, once again an increase was seen – with the kill amounting to 11,040 head.

Overall, this brings the total throughput to 190,705 in 2021. The LMC said that this is a 9.4% increase from the same period as last year.

Meanwhile, exports of lambs to the ROI for direct slaughter last week increased to 4,059 head.

For the year to date, exports of hoggets/lambs to the ROI now stand at 94,305 head – which is a substantial decrease of 30.8% from the same period in 2020.

The average deadweight lamb price in NI last week was 482.7p/kg – which was back 48.7p/kg from the previous week – however, prices look to be bouncing back – with demand from the Eid al-Adha a driving force behind this increased demand.

Marts see lamb prices improve too

The LMC reported good numbers of lambs passing through marts this past week, with a stronger trade also seen compared to the previous week.

In Kilrea on Monday (July 5) 630 lambs sold from 456-553p/kg, compared to 410 lambs last week selling from 427-470p/kg.

While at Markethill this week a larger entry of 960 lambs sold from 480-520p/kg. The trade for cull ewes remained firm this week ranging from £132-198/head across marts, the LMC added.