Sector still going strong as prices up 5c/kg in week
DARREN Clarke won Northern Ireland's third golf major in a year over the weekend and it has been the third week of steady improvements in the sheep sector.
Quotes from almost half of the factories show an increase of 5c/kg since this day last week.
This is very welcome news as reports had suggested that extra lambs could be travelling down from the North after the lull created by the marching last week. With Ramadan on the horizon, the trade should remain pretty solid for the immediate future.
The quotes table shows no change at the top, with Moyvalley's all-in offer of 485c/kg being matched by the 475c/kg base quote and 6c/kg and 5c/kg bonuses from Kildare Chilling.
However 5c/kg increases from the two ICM plants and Kepak Hacketstown bunches them together on a quote of 475c/kg plus the bonus.
The old saying "Go west young man" does not apply to lamb quotes at the moment because the two western processors are just propping up the table on an unchanged base quote of 470c/kg plus the bonus.
As I have often said before in this column, it is important to remember that those are only quotes and if you sell at those figures you are really not maximising the value of your stock.
Bargaining on price and weight is imperative and was worth €3.50/lamb to a farmer I spoke to last week. He sold 27 lambs after negotiating an extra half kilo and a 5c/kg improvement in price and his hard sell was worth just short of €100 in total. Commenting on the trade, IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that continuing tight supplies were helping to maintain and improve prices.