Sheep prices Northern Ireland May 2021:
According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, the lamb and hogget trade has been strong throughout 2021 and “remains well ahead of previous years”.
It reports that processing plants paid base quotes of 575- 590p/kg up to 22/23kg and 620- 630p/kg, respectively, for R3 grading hoggets and spring lambs this week.
Sheep prices Northern Ireland May 2021
“The higher quotes for lambs/hoggets in NI are being reflected in paid prices, with last week’s deadweight hogget and spring lamb price at 599.9p/kg and 612.7p/kg, respectively,” the LMC remarked.
“The deadweight hogget price is 137.9p/kg ahead of the same price last year, which equates to a £30 differential on a 22kg carcase.”
“Meanwhile, the deadweight spring lamb price last week is 116.2p/kg ahead of 2020 when the price was 496.5p/kg. This equates to an additional £24 on a 21kg carcase year on year.”
“The local processing plants in NI have a preference for lambs and hoggets which meet an R or U grade, a carcase weight of 21/22kg, a fat class 2 or 3 and are farm quality assured.”
The LMC added that producers, which present lambs/hoggets that meet current market specifications, should be better positioned to negotiate a stronger price with processors.
Lambs/hoggets, which are part of the Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (FQAS), are particularly important as they provide greater assurance on animal welfare, food safety, traceability, and care for the environment are sought after by retailers.
In line with seasonal trends, the number of spring lambs coming forward for processing has increased while the number of hoggets is declining.
According to the LMC, last week, there were very similar numbers of spring lambs and hoggets making up the NI deadweight price reported kill with spring lambs accounting for 49.6% and hoggets accounting for the remaining 50.4%.
“This is a change to the corresponding week last year when spring lambs accounted for 59.1% NI processing’s and hoggets accounted for 40.9%. Lamb/hogget throughput totalled 6,545 head last week in NI processing plants which is up 816 head from the previous week.”
“This takes the total lamb/hogget throughput during 2021 to date to 116,260 head, which is an increase of 13,847 head or 13.5%, when compared to the corresponding period in 2020,” the LMC concluded.