Little change in quotes but more is still on offer
Even though it is minimal, the movement from week to week in the political polls is still quite a bit more than what we are seeing from the factory quotes for lambs and ewes.
Having said that, the fact that quotes have remained more along the lines of Fine Gael rather than the Greens is good news for sheep producers.
As you will see from the table, all of the plants are more or less where they were last Tuesday with a base of 470c/kg being quoted by them all apart from the all-in quote of 480c/kg on offer from Moyvalley Meats.
The second bonus of 5c/kg for quality assured lambs going into Kildare on top of the normal 6c/kg bonus for the U grades leaves the Lilywhite plant at a level similar to its neighbours. The rest are on the aforementioned base plus the bonus.
Despite the supply being described as tightish, factory sources say that numbers on offer are more than adequate to supply the present slow trade.
They were anxious to point out that, with the impending lambing season, some farmers were almost dumping the last of their old season lambs just to get them out of the way to make room for the new crop.
It is extremely important to make sure that lambs are suitable for slaughter before you sell them to the factory. Otherwise penalties will ensure that those lambs die in debt.
The IFA's James Murphy said the market remained stable and regardless of the factories quoting a low base of 470c/kg, quite a number of feeders were holding out for and getting prices of up to €5/kg. He added that €14.8m grassland payments went out to 22,660 farmers last week and that it is vital for the Department to pay out the remaining €3.2m to the other 5,000 farmers immediately.