Desperate factories shelling out 600c/kg
The spring lamb trade is a bit like the Galway hurlers qualifying for the league final, even though they failed to score for 64 minutes from play. It is a case of "we will take it and say nothing".
Farmers selling young lambs at the moment are only being quoted 560-570c/kg plus the bonus but they are almost all getting the 600c/kg. Some factories are obviously very anxious not to quote up at this figure, but they are willing to pay it and the farmer is happy to take it and move on.
The top quote of a base 570c/kg plus 6c/kg is available from Kildare chilling and Kepak Hacketstown with the two western plants on 560c/kg plus the bonus.
None of the other plants are quoting for spring lambs but in most cases they are freely paying the 600c/kg. They all have to pay this price if they want to get supplies, as there is a lively trade for nicely finished lambs in the marts with €88-93 over the weight being common enough.
Just before going to press, Moyvalley came in with a top quote of 600c/kg.
"They are like a good Easter egg -- it is difficult to separate them," was how Des Cahill described a half-time score last Sunday. The same could be said of all the factories when it comes to quotes for the hoggets today. To a plant, they are almost all offering 480c/kg plus the bonus.
Moyvalley are the odd ones out having reduced their quote to an all-in 470c/kg. Despite those quotes, most have to pay 500c/kg with the odd price of 490c/kg also being reported.
IFA's James Murphy said that for the small number of spring lambs available, farmers were getting up to €130 in the marts and the factories, with farmers in general holding out for and getting €5/kg for their hoggets.