Match analyst Joe Brolly remarked after Mayo's great win last Sunday that there is always some type of collapse involved in a Mayo match. Thankfully they survived to fight another day.
While collapse may be too strong a word to describe today's lamb quotes, the bottom line is that, with the exception of Moyvalley, the factories have dropped their quotes by 5-10c/kg over the past week.
The biggest hit of 10c/kg comes from Kildare Chilling but despite this, when the two bonuses are included, they still manage to share top spot with a total figure of 480c/kg for quality assured U grades which matches the all-in quote of 480c/kg on offer from Moyvalley Meats.
The Western plants of Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague show a reduction of 6c/kg to a base of 470c/kg while a 5c/kg fall sees the two ICM plants and Kepak Hacketstown also quoting 470c/kg plus the bonus. The latter plant's quote is for yesterday only as they are not killing again until Thursday. Moyvalley are quoting 450c/kg for light lambs.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said the positive change in the weather is resulting in the factories finding it difficult to secure adequate supplies of suitable lambs this week and are having to pay between 490-495c/kg with a tops of 500c/kg to get stock.
The cull ewes have also taken a hit of up to 10c/kg in places. Both ICM plants lead the way despite pulling their quotes from last week's 230c/kg to 220c/kg for today. The 215c/kg you see for Hacketstown was for yesterday only. Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 210c/kg while 200c/kg is the quote from Kildare Chilling.
The sheep trade settled down during the week, according to Bord Bia despite the weekly throughput being the highest recorded in almost two years. This reflects strong demand on the domestic market.
To date, sheep supplies are running almost 7pc higher compared with last year's levels.
In the UK, trade has settled down reflecting some weakening in demand on the French market. By the weekend, new season lambs at live markets across Britain were making the equivalent of €4.98/kg.
Despite more consumers returning to the Paris region following their holidays, in-store promotions on poultry, pork and beef has dampened demand for lamb. This has led to some fall in Irish grade 1 spring lamb, with prices slipping to €5.15/kg by the end of the week.
A bilateral agreement signed with South Africa last week has opened the door for all Irish meat exports to that country.
The sheep trade at the marts around the country was pretty steady over the past week.
Well-fleshed lambs were selling for €50-60 over the €/kg at Athenry mart yesterday. The 40-45kg lots were making from €38-46 with the weight. Down in Fermoy, a very big sale saw the best of the lambs making up to €63 over. The general run of finished lambs sold for €49-59 with their weight. Trade was tougher at Kilkenny mart especially for factory types with a lot of those selling for €42-48 over.
There were 1,400 sheep for sale at Enniscorthy mart. Butcher lamb prices varied from €100-105 or €50-56 over their weight. Factory lambs sold for €94-101 or €50-55 over. Store prices ran from €65-84.
Dowra Mart had 3,900 sheep on offer last Saturday. Trade was stronger for most classes of sheep with the good quality ewe lambs suitable for breeding making from €100-133 each. The best of the Suffolk and Suffolk cross store lambs were selling from €70-85 each.
Due to huge numbers, the trade for breeding ewes and hoggets was back a little at Mountbellew mart. Hoggets hit a high of €160 but most lots sold between €120-140. The best of the young breeding ewes made up to €145 with the general run making from €110-125.
Baltinglass had 2,300 on offer and enjoyed a good selling trade for both ewes and lambs. The lambs sold for €90-104. Stores made from €65-90. Cheviot-Suffolk cross ewe lambs made up to €120 with ewe hoggets making between €130-160. Older breeding ewes sold for €85-125. Cull ewes made from €45-85. Rams were selling from €200-400.
Factory and butcher lambs made from €40-50 over the €/kg at Ballymote mart with ewe lambs making up to €55 over.