Ringside: Sheep quotes take a seasonal plunge
I'm not sure who or what Joe Brolly would compare with the sheep quotes this morning, but they are definitely not very pretty.
Normally we get another week out of the trade before the June Bank Holiday drop to quotes and prices. Let's hope that it's a case of this hit coming a week early and that there isn't a follow up next week.
The table attached tells a clear story. All plants are showing a 40c/kg drop to a base of €5.40/kg from last week's €5.80/kg. This is a loss of €8/lamb for the farmer. Factories point to an increase in supplies and, more importantly, sluggish markets.
All the main players are on €5.40/kg plus the bonus, which is worth 10c/kg for quality assured (QA) lambs going into either of the ICM plants and Kildare Chilling, and 6c/kg in Kepak Athleague. Moyvalley's €5.50/kg is an all-in quote, but Dawn remain like last year's Kerry footballers operating behind closed doors and are not quoting.
Farmers are finding it difficult to get the factories to pay much more than the base plus the bonus, with €5.60/kg being the max for most, even if €5.70/kg was mentioned. The hoggets have also taken a hit, but in fairness there is no big surprise here as the quality of the falling numbers on offer continues to deteriorate.
A 30c/kg reduction from the ICMs and Kildare drops them to a base of €4.90/kg plus a 10c/kg QA top-up. Kepak Athleague have resisted pulling the base under the even money with their offer of €5/kg plus a QA top-up of 6c/kg. There is room for improvement here if you have a bunch of nice quality hoggets.
There's no change on the cull ewes, leaving Kepak and both ICM plants on a quote of €2.90/kg. Farmers selling are not accepting anything less than €3/kg as the mart trade for well fleshed ewes remains very strong.
Bord Bia market information suggests that the sheep markets are under pressure from significant amounts of Spanish lamb. While supplies began to dry up this time last year, it appears that there are enough of them around to last another few weeks at this stage