Further downward pressure continues to be exerted on lamb prices in the North, with prices easing back 10p/kg since the start of the week. Quotes for lambs at the start of the week ranged from 590-600p/kg up to a 21kg carcass weight and as the week progressed, eased back to 580-590p/kg. Next week, the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) are reporting quotes of 580-590p/kg again for lambs. Looking at throughput in plants in the North last week (week ending June 6), a total of 8,532 sheep were processed. This was an increase on the previous week, although it was a decline on throughput seen during the same period as last year. 2,122 lambs were exported for direct slaughter to plants in the Republic of Ireland. This was back 264 head on the previous week. While during the same period as last year, 4,716 lambs were exported to the south, which shows once again how more lambs are being processed in meat plants in the North this year than usual. For last week, the average deadweight price in the North for lambs 593.1p/kg - which was back 31.7p/kg. Although, in comparison to last year, Northern Ireland lamb prices are in a much healthier place, with the average deadweight last year, during the same period, coming in at 472.1p/kg.

Mart trade - lamb prices improve at some sales

A good trade was reported across marts in the North this past week, with numbers steady coming through mart rings, the LMC reported. On Monday (June 7) in Kilrea, 400 lambs sold from 555-595p/kg compared to 280 lambs from the week before, selling from 548-591p/kg. On Wednesday (June 9) in Markethill, 720 lambs sold from 540-592p/kg compared to 882 lambs selling from 540-581p/kg last week. A strong trade continues for well-fleshed, cull ewes, with top prices this week ranging from £160-207/head.