Ringside: Seasonal dip more severe than usual
Unfortunately, the pattern for the June Bank Holiday Monday is well established.
This year the seasonal drop in prices arrived a week earlier than normal, with last week's quotes back by 40c/kg. Any hopes of that they might settle at that were dashed when they fell by another 20c/kg before the weekend.
The rot seems to have stopped for the time being, but factory sources would not fill you with optimism on the prospects for the rest of the week.
Some bit of hope may be gleaned from the fact that quotes and prices recovered somewhat in the second week of June last year and Ramadan will start on Thursday, June 18 and will continue for 30 days. This Muslim Festival generally gives a boost to the sheep trade.
The current quotes are some 30c/kg behind the level they were at this time last year, with all the plants that are quoting on the same base of €5.20/kg.
These include the two ICMs, Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley, with the figure from the latter being an all-in quote.
The ICM plants and Kildare Chilling are offering a 10c/kg bonus on quality assured (QA) lambs. Neither of the western plants were quoting for the lambs when contacted yesterday. The IFA's John Lynskey said that factories were having to pay between €5.40-5.50/kg to get farmers to deal.
Both ICM plants and Kildare are offering a base of €4.40/kg plus 10c/kg QA for the hoggets. This reflects a drop of 50c/kg over the week but in fairness, the hoggets being offered can tend to be a mixture of almost everything but quality.