Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 22 October 2017

Plants play coy as demand increases

sheep

Champions: Winners at the recent Raphoe Mart Fatstock show and Sale were: (from left) Sam Wilson, 1st in the Suffolk Group and Pairs; Paul McGlynn, Kiernan Milling; Tom Baldrick, 3rd pen of 5;Alan Lecky, judge; Anne Harkin, mart manger; Marcus Maxwell, show champions; Peter Gallinagh, reserve champion; Robert Brownleigh, Natural Nutrition; and Nigel Gibson, Inishleigh Co-Op Clive Wasson
Champions: Winners at the recent Raphoe Mart Fatstock show and Sale were: (from left) Sam Wilson, 1st in the Suffolk Group and Pairs; Paul McGlynn, Kiernan Milling; Tom Baldrick, 3rd pen of 5;Alan Lecky, judge; Anne Harkin, mart manger; Marcus Maxwell, show champions; Peter Gallinagh, reserve champion; Robert Brownleigh, Natural Nutrition; and Nigel Gibson, Inishleigh Co-Op Clive Wasson

Joe Healy

In a side-step that would make Munster's super sub JJ Hanrahan proud, the sheep factories have succeeded in keeping base quote increases to the absolute bare minimum. After Kepak Athleague paved the way for other plants last week with its base of 460c/kg, the least that could be expected was the rest would match that figure. That is what happened -- no more, no less.

The move puts Kildare Chilling ahead of the rest by virtue of its extra Quality Assurance bonus of 5c/kg on top of the normal U grade bonus. The Kildare quote for suitable lambs is now 470c/kg, which matches the all-in quote of 470c/kg on offer from its neighbour, Moyvalley Meats. Thereafter, the two ICM plants, Dawn Ballyhaunis and both Kepak plants are offering a base of 460c/kg plus the bonus.

If you are selling at the moment make sure you bargain hard as many farmers are securing prices of up to 480c/kg, which could mean a difference of €3.35-3.45/lamb. For Christmas week, most factories will be killing on Monday, December 23 and again on the following Friday, December 27.

IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said the lamb market was positive and while 480c/kg was widely available, some farmers with large numbers of in-spec lambs were negotiating prices above that. He added that the mart trade was very strong for fit lambs and offered a real alternative for sellers.

There has been no change to the quotes for cull ewes. The ICM plants, Kildare Chilling and Kepak Hacketstown remain on 200c/kg, while both western plants continue to offer 190c/kg.

The strong sheep trade continued last week, according to Bord Bia, as good domestic demand, coupled with tighter supplies, helped trade as the build up to the Christmas period continues.

Quotes for lamb increased during the week to a base price of €4.60-4.70/kg as the week progressed. Prices paid for cull ewes remained firm with prices generally making €1.90-2.00/kg.

Sheep supplies for the year are running 8pc higher than comparable 2012 figures.

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Trade in Britain remained steady with increased numbers of lambs going through live markets. By the weekend, new season lamb prices across England and Wales stood at around €4.96/kg including VAT.

In France, trade remained unchanged as many distributors turned to imported lamb against a backdrop of tight domestic supplies.

DEMAND

Meanwhile, the trade at sheep marts was lively during the past week, with plenty of demand for nicely finished lambs. Most fleshed lambs sold for €50-60 over the €/kg. A few top quality pens sold for more than €60 with their weight. The store trade remains strong as farmers are optimistic about the potential for the New Year.

Heavy lambs in Athenry Mart yesterday commanded prices of €50-63 over the €1/kg. A top price of €115 was paid for a 52kg lot. Store lambs sold for €30-45 with their weight.

The top price of €118 in Fermoy was paid for a pen of lambs weighing 56kg each. Fit lambs generally sold for €51-61 over the weight. Lambs of 35-43kg made €35-46 over.

The sheep trade was reported as livelier at Dowra Mart last Saturday, with the best of the store lambs making €65-85 each. The lighter stores made €40-60. Cull ewes for further feeding sold for €30-55. Heavier ewes sold for €55-75.

Down in the southeast, butcher lambs at Enniscorthy Mart made €102-107 or €52-55 with their weight. Factory lambs made €94-101 or €50-57 over. Stores sold for prices of €58-89. Fat cull ewes moved at €78-90/hd while store ewes sold for €34-66.

Mountbellew had larger numbers of sheep on offer than the previous week and had increased demand for cull ewes, with prices up by €5-8/hd, especially for heavier lots.

Factory and butcher lambs also met an improved trade, with prices showing positive movement.

Store lambs made €65-92.50. Six first-crop ewes scanned with twins sold for €149, while a similar number of second crop ewes scanned with 1.5 lambs/ewe made €140.

The last sale of 2013 at Mountbellew will be held on this weekend, December 20-21.

Baltinglass had 1,800 sheep on offer. Keen demand resulted in a price increase of €1-3/hd for heavy lambs which sold for €95-110. Lambs of 35-45kg made €40-55 over the €1/kg.

Blackface ewes with mixed mouths and suitable for breeding made €21-68 over in Maam Cross. Ewe hoggets hit a high of €105/hd. Crossbred lambs sold for €30-68 in the main, with a top price of €86/hd. Blackface wether and ram lambs sold for €18-44/hd.

Lambs under 40kg hit a high of €91 or €2.28/kg at Tuam Mart. Nicely fleshed lambs sold for €2.05-2.20/kg or €100-113. Cull ewes sold for €55-90.

Irish Independent