Sheep men holding out for another strong year
Fingers crossed after a favourable 2011
One factory man I spoke to yesterday morning said to me that it had been 'Christmas' for sheep farmers throughout the whole of the past year.
While accepting that all costs of production have increased substantially on farms, I think it is fair to say that most of the sheep men would be quite satisfied if the year ahead turns out anything similar to 2011 and they make it a three in a row, as 2010 was also a favourable year for the sheep sector.
I remember talking to a farmer this time last year, who said that 2010 had been the best year he had experienced since he began farming in the 1970s.
Good prices have ensured that suppliers remain motivated to do whatever work or feeding is necessary to bring a suitable product to the market.
Incidentally, the base quotes for this day 12 months ago ranged from 470-480c/kg. Throughout the year I think the lowest they hit quote-wise was around the 440c/kg, with quotes ranging from 600-650c/kg during the month of May.
The good news for today compared to the first Tuesday last year is that the range is 20c/kg better at 490-500c/kg, with actual prices hitting up to and even beyond 520c/kg. Farmers who are getting this 520c/kg to 23kg are receiving a gross price of €120/lamb. Nothing to complain about here.
Dawn Ballyhaunis and both Kepak plants take an early lead in the quote stakes with all three quoting 500c/kg plus the bonus.
Kildare have a similar final figure with their 495c/kg base plus the 6c/kg and 5c/kg bonuses they are offering.