Lamb prices remain in freefall, with base quotes for Thursday falling by a further 50c/kg compared to last week. This equates to a fall of over €10/head on a typical 20kg lamb carcase.

The latest cut brings the scale of recent price cuts to upwards of €1.30/kg in the last three weeks.

Producers have been left reeling with lamb sales values falling by upwards of €25 to €30/head in such a short space of time.

Processors are blaming lower demand in key export markets for the persistent pressure and can offer no short-term optimism on prices potentially steadying over the coming week. The sharp cuts are denting confidence at a critical timeframe, with mid-season lamb producers, many of whom missed out on higher hogget prices, selling the first of their lambs.

Lamb prices had been running significantly ahead of 2023 levels for much of the spring but the gap has now closed to 30c/kg to 50c/kg higher.

The price reduction in factories in Northern Ireland has been even greater.

Quotes this week have fallen by 60p/kg to 70p/kg on last week’s level with base quotes for Thursday ranging from £6/kg to £6.10/kg or the equivalent of €7.05/kg to €7.15/kg.

Prices in Northern Ireland have fallen by up to £1.50/kg (€1.75/kg) in the last three weeks. This leaves a lamb carcase weighing 20kg worth up to £30 (€35) less.

Demand has weakened in the last week on the back of reduced buying for exporting live to Britain and factories have moved to take greater control of the trade.