Sheep factory prices are not storming, unlike the weather
The factory trade, unfortunately, bears a closer resemblance to our rugby team than the climatic conditions for the early part of this week.
Five weeks ago, all of the plants were quoting in a range of 470-475c/kg, while today all bar one are down at base quotes of 445-450c/kg. This is equivalent to €4.40-5.00/lamb.
And the downward pressure continues, with Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICM plants pulling their quotes by another 5c/kg today, leaving them on 445c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus.
Mid-September is a fairly critical time in the sheep calendar and quite often dictates the lamb flock for next year as farmers decide on numbers to let off with the rams. So factories should realise that killing optimism in the sheep industry during this period could probably be classed as a bit short-sighted on their part.
I suppose the good news is that regardless of the figures being quoted, farmers are successfully negotiating prices of up to 10-15c/kg more with 465c/kg quite freely available and more for some of the producer groups.
Some of those groups are getting up to and over 470c/kg. The key is to make a price and agree on a carcass weight before you sell.
At least you then have an idea of what you will end up with. Otherwise you will be taking the minimum on both fronts.
Moyvalley are offering an all-in quote of 460c/kg, which is unchanged since last week. Others retaining the status quo are Kildare Chilling where 450c/kg plus 6c/kg plus the quality assurance bonus of 5c/kg is being quoted. Both Kepak plants also held steady where the quotes are 450c/kg plus 5c/kg. The other three referred to above are down at a base of 445c/kg.