Quotes rise on back of tighter supplies
A great start, then a big drop and followed by good improvement. No, I am not reporting on Rory McIlroy's performance at St Andrews, but with the improvement in lamb quotes and prices this week, parallels could be drawn with the Ulsterman's exploits at the British Open.
While all plants have increased their quotes, it is Kildare that has given a Donie Shine-like performance with their 14c/kg lift leaving them clear at the top of the table on a base quote of 434c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus, as well as the 5c/kg bonus for quality assured lambs. The rest are quoting 430c/kg plus the bonus, and this represents a rise of 10c/kg since this day last week.
Moyvalley is offering an all-in quote of 430c/kg. Remember that those are only the quotes and farmers are successfully bargaining for more -- and also negotiating favourable results on carcass weights.
The ball definitely seems to be back in the farmers' court, with some of the factory men freely admitting that supplies are very tight. Some farmers, however, continue to lose money by bringing heavy lambs to the factory.
If your lambs are overweight then the mart is a much safer and better option as you will have the butcher as an option and possibly another farmer if you have ewe lambs. Also watch out for under- finished or light lambs.
Again, it goes without saying that the mart is the place to sell those as the store trade remains solid.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that the tight supplies were forcing the factories to freely pay 440c/kg, with some quality-assured farmers getting up to 450c/kg.