Farm Ireland

Tuesday 21 November 2017

5c/kg gap exists as factories eye stock

Joe Healy

LAMB SUPPLIES in certain parts of the country appear to be as tight as the difference between Galway and Tipperary on Sunday.

As opposed to the final score line in Croke Park of just the single point in favour of the Premier men, the gap between top and bottom for the lamb quotes is 5c/kg.

One big plus for lambs at the moment has been the Bord Bia promotion, and the impression I am getting is that the factories are eager to secure lambs, and especially quality assured lambs, to fill the home market.

The Lilywhites continue to set the pace with their quote of a base 434c/kg plus the 6c/kg for the U grades plus a 5c/kg top-up for quality-assured lambs. This brings them up to 445c/kg.

Next in line is Kepak Hacketstown on 435c/kg plus 5c/kg. Moyvalley is on an all-in 435c/kg quote while the two ICM plants, Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis are all offering an unchanged 430c/kg plus the bonus for the better types.

If you are selling and trying to make a price, it is vital that you are sure of the carcass weight you are going to get paid on, as some farmers are only getting paid to 21kg, while others going into the same factory are getting 22kg. This extra kilo is worth €4.40-4.50, or 21c/kg. So, maximise weight and price.


IFA's James Murphy said that the ball is well and truly in the farmers' court at the moment with the processors having to compete against live exporters, wholesalers, ewe-lamb buyers, store-lamb buyers and the Galway races to get adequate supplies. He added that some of the plants were freely paying 450c/kg for lambs this week.

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There is very little change to the quotes for the cull ewes. Kildare and Hacketstown are on 250c/kg. Both ICMs are offering 240c/kg, while in the west, Dawn and Kepak are quoting 220c/kg. Moyvalley is not quoting for ewes today.

Bord Bia reported that the lamb trade strengthened further in the early part of the past week as tight supplies and a better domestic demand helped trade. Quotes for lambs for much of the week averaged around 430c/kg, with reports of more being available for better-quality lambs.

The cull ewe trade showed little change, with 240c/kg to 250c/kg reportedly available. Supplies to date for this year are some 185,000 -- or 15pc -- below the same period last year.

In the UK, the live market trade picked up somewhat during the week as tighter supplies helped returns. The average new season SQQ price in England and Wales improved towards the end of the week to reach the equivalent of 442c/kg including VAT.

In France, quotes for Grade 1 Irish spring lamb delivered to Paris stood at around 453c/kg including VAT for much of the week, with demand levels remaining weak.

Irish Independent