Northern sheep trade: Spring lamb prices strengthen


Written by Michael Geary

A strengthening of the sheep trade in the south was also seen up in the North this week, with spring lamb prices improving.

Quotes for spring lambs in Northern Ireland (NI) plants strengthened this week to 630-640p/kg up to 21kg carcass weight, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Quotes for lambs are expected to range from 620-640p/kg early next week, the LMC added.

Spring lamb prices increased by 5.8p/kg from the previous week, to average 618.5p/kg for the week ending May 8.

In terms of the hogget trade, the deadweight price fell by 2.3p/kg from the previous week, to average 597.6p/kg for the week ending May 8, the LMC noted.


4,826 lambs/hoggets passed through NI processing plants last week – which was down 26% from the week before.

Although, when compared to this time last year, it’s a very similar number.

Looking at exports of lambs/hoggets to the south last week, an increase of 854 head was seen on the week before.

In total, 3,357 sheep were sent to processing plants in the south for direct slaughter.

Mart trade

The LMC noted an increasing number of spring lambs coming forward for sale, with prices also improving over the past week which was similar to what was seen at marts down south.

On Tuesday (May 11) in Rathfriland, 425 spring lambs sold from 620-680p/kg (avg 648p/kg), while the previous week saw 300 spring lambs make from 590-650p/kg (avg 628p/kg).

While on Wednesday (may 13), at Markethill Mart, 1,170 sheep met a very strong trade. Good-quality spring lambs made from 620p/kg, up to 662p/kg.

Cull ewe prices at sales ranged from £150-204/head across the marts, the LMC added.

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LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.

Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.

We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.

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