Buoyant trade sees sellers digging in for better prices
While no Valentine's Day cards were exchanged, the relationship between the sheep processors and the farmers remains quite positive as strong quotes continue to be offered. If anything, sellers are probably digging in a little tougher and holding out to secure improved prices this week.
The lamb quotes have not changed since this day week with all the main players continuing to offer a base of 520c/kg plus the various bonuses which range between 5-10c/kg.
The two ICM plants are paying an extra 10c/kg for quality assured lambs. Kildare Chilling are offering an extra 5c/kg for QA lambs as well as 5c/kg for lots grading U. The 6c/kg bonus from Kepak is for QA lambs. An all-in quote of 540c/kg is being offered in Moyvalley Meats.
Some of the plants are reporting adequate supplies, but none of them are complaining of lairages being packed.
Overall, supplies for the first five weeks of the year are back by 5pc or 11,000hd which equates to roughly a third of one weeks kill.
Producers are aware of this and feel they are in a strong position to bargain hard and maximize the value of their stock and this is the reason that some of them are bargaining hard for a base price of 560c/kg.
Many are getting up to 555c/kg without any major haggling with very few having to sell below 550c/kg.
It would appear that quite a few lambs are killing out over the agreed carcase weight of 23-24kg. The farmer gets nothing for this. There are two options here. Either sell at the mart to a lively butcher trade or ensure that you move your lambs quicker.