Lamb prices take a savage tumble
If you want good news, you had better turn to the sports pages because while European and World titles and records were being amassed by the Irish over the weekend, our sheep producers were being hit with unwanted records.
We would have to go back quite a bit to get a seven-day period where lamb quotes dropped by 60c/kg or €12/lamb.
A month ago the quotes were €1/kg more than today at €6/kg. Unfortunately, this is the reality for farmers, with every plant showing a drop of 50-60c/kg.
Increased supplies and extremely sluggish markets are being blamed. However, the IFA is inclined to apportion at least some of the blame towards the factories and accused them of leading the prices downwards.
The IFA's James Murphy said that this will damage farmer confidence, especially with Bord Bia reporting returns from the French market up by 10c/kg allied to the strength of sterling.
Only four factories are quoting for the hoggets. ICM Navan and Kepak Athleague are offering a quote of 400c/kg plus the bonus. Dawn are the first to dip below the €4/kg mark with their 390c/kg plus 6c/kg, while the 420c/kg plus the bonus quoted from Kepak Hacketstown was for yesterday only.
All of the plants are quoting for the ewes, albeit at very low levels. The figures represent a 10-35c/kg drop since last week. Dawn are the biggest culprits here also having dropped from 260c/kg last Tuesday to their quote of 225c/kg for today.
A 30c/kg fall leaves their neighbours, Athleague, on 220c/kg, with Moyvalley propping up the table at 200c/kg. Both ICMs are on 225c/kg. Hacketstown is quoting 230c/kg, while Kildare lead the way with its 250c/kg quote.