Scarce spring lamb base prices quoted at €7/kg
It is not unusual for the sheep trade to ease back after Easter. But Easter 2018 has not been the norm.
It came particularly early in the calendar this year, and due to bad weather, it came before even the first signs of a normal spring arrived on farms.
The result of that unusual combination has been very few new season lambs available for Easter, leading to hogget prices reaching record levels (both here and in the UK). Spring lamb continues to be very scarce this week. What is available is being priced by the processors at a base of 700 cents/kg, plus quality bonus and whatever the producer can negotiate as a top up. Strong demand continues for hog- gets, although prices have eased by around 10 cents/kg from the record highs of last week.
Most processors offer a base of 580 cents/kg this week, plus the quality bonus of 5-10 cents/kg.
There is a bit of 590 cents/kg going, and an all-in price of 600 cents/kg is on offer by one processor.
As usual, actual prices are higher than quoted prices.
The indications for this week are that most of the hoggets are making at least 600 cents/kg, and some farmers are successfully negotiating for a few cents/kg more than that. As usual for a Monday bank holiday, there were fewer live mart sales.
Maintaining the record high prices seen at marts last week will be difficult in the post Easter trade.