'Soft-selling' farmers are still losing out amid solid trading
Sheep farmers may not be in a position to bail out the western world but they are, nonetheless, continuing to enjoy a very satisfactory period as the trade remains solid.
Some sources were pointing to increasing supplies adding to price pressure this week but, for the moment, quotes and prices are steady and on a par with last week.
The table will tell you that five of the plants are on the same quotes, Kepak Hacketstown is down by 5c/kg and Moyvalley has upped its all-in quote by 5c/kg to 475c/kg.
With the reduction in Hacketstown, all of the processors are now on a base of 470c/kg plus the bonus. By virtue of the added bonus of 5c/kg for quality-assured lambs going into Kildare Chilling, the Lilywhites plant is probably tops with a total quote of 481c/kg for qualifying stock. ICM Camolin was only quoting for yesterday at the 470c/kg base plus 6c/kg. Kepak Athleague is also buying a few lighter-type lambs of 10-15kg carcass weights and is quoting 450c/kg.
From what I hear, more is being paid, but would need to be, as otherwise this figure is not a match for what those lambs would make in the marts at the moment, such is the strength of the store trade.
Despite how often I and many more advise farmers to bargain on price and weight, there are still a lot of lambs being sold at the minimum quote and carcass weight. I just wish farmers would stop and calculate how much they are losing by being soft sellers.
Some are selling for the 470c/kg plus 6c/kg to 22kg, while others are securing up to 490c/kg to 23kg. Those figures equate to €112 versus €104/ lamb -- a gain/loss of €8/animal.
At all times, no matter what we are selling, it is imperative that we maximise the value of our stock.