Farm Ireland

Thursday 21 September 2017

Bargaining key as quotes near €5/kg

Joe Healy

While the leaks from Germany last week were a tad embarrassing for the Irish Government, the leaks from the sheep industry yesterday were only good news for our farmers.

It was one thing to see quotes increasing by 5-15c/kg across the board but it was pretty clear to see that the €5/kg was becoming a pretty regular occurrence again -- and to 23kg.

Some unconfirmed reports yesterday morning were suggesting that a few finishers were negotiating up to €5.10/kg. The difference between getting this or accepting the quoted figure could be as high as €7-9/lamb.

As you will see from the table, the range of quotes has moved up to 470-485c/kg for today, with a 10c/kg jump from the two Kepak plants leaving them offering a base of 480c/kg plus the bonus.

This brings them level with Moyvalley Meats, which is quoting an all-in figure of 485c/kg. The biggest rise however, is at Dawn Ballyhaunis but, despite the extra 15c/kg, they are still pretty much mid-table at 475c/kg plus 6c/kg.

Kildare Chilling, with their added quality assurance bonus on top of their base of 470c/kg plus the 6c/kg, has the final figure more or less on a par with Dawn. Both ICM factories are quoting 470c/kg plus 6c/kg.

Factory sources were fairly open about farmers successfully holding out for more, with a genuine reluctance to sell at much, if anything, below the €5/kg.

The IFA's James Murphy said that the lamb trade is rock solid at the moment, with quotes up by 10c/kg and prices of 495-500c/kg being paid as factories try to secure continuing scarce supplies of lambs.

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The only word of caution to farmers is to keep an eye on lambs left at the moment and maybe an extra bit of meal feeding could be introduced, because word from a few factory sources is that quality is getting very mixed, with some under-fleshed stock being killed.

On the other hand, there was mention of some ewe lambs a little too fat, so the mart could still be the best option for the ewe lambs where the farmer and the butcher would add to the competition.

The bottom line, if you are selling, is to price around and bargain hard because it is clear that there is 30-40c/kg of a difference between what some plants are quoting and what they are willing to pay if pushed.

There is no real change to the cull ewes. The ICM plants, Kepak Hacketstown and Kildare Chilling remain on a quote of 270c/kg. Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 260c/kg, with Kepak Athleague on 250c/kg.

In Britain, trade strengthened further on the back of some tightening in domestic supplies combined with the on-going strengthening in the pound against the euro. By the weekend, livemarket prices were unchanged at the equivalent of €5.24/kg including VAT for lambs.

Indo Farming