Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

€5/kg available as prices rise 10c/kg


Joe Healy

When it comes to good news, Michael D wasn't the only person on the receiving end over the past week as sheep farmers continue to enjoy quotes and prices moving in an upward direction.

The quotes are now up at levels in all the plants not seen since last July. Despite this, they are having to, and willing to, pay well in excess of the quoted figures to get supplies.

Competition remains strong in the market place, with the live exporters still very active and farmers showing a keen interest in the forward store- type lambs. As you will see from the table, all of the processors have increased their quotes by 10c/kg -- or €2.25-2.30/lamb -- since last Tuesday.

Moyvalley continues to top the poll on its all-in quote of 485c/kg. Thereafter, unlike the presidential race, the rest of the plants are bunched together on a base quote of 470c/kg plus the bonus. This leaves Kildare slightly ahead by virtue of its extra 5c/kg bonus for quality assured lambs.

Farmers with lambs for slaughter at the moment, and especially if they have significant numbers, are holding out for and getting up to €5/kg, with prices of €4.90-5 commonplace. It is important if you have lambs to sell that you sell at correct weights, as feeding them into very heavy weights will not leave anything extra if you sell to the factory.

If you have those heavy types then the mart is probably a better option.

IFA sheep committee chairman James Murphy said that tight supplies and factories actively seeking stock have resulted in farmers successfully negotiating prices of €5/kg.

Quotes for the cull ewes remain at 270c/kg in the ICM plants, Kepak Hacketstown and Kildare Chilling. Dawn Ballyhaunis is offering 260c/kg, with 250c/kg being quoted in Kepak Athleague.

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Sheep supplies to date are running almost 1pc higher than the same period last year, according to Bord Bia.

In Britain, the trade weakened slightly on the back of some increase in supplies combined with some unfavourable exchange rate movement.

By the weekend, livemarket prices were unchanged at the equivalent of €4.66/kg inclusive of VAT for lambs.

In France, prices for limited volumes of Irish grade 1 lamb were reportedly making up to €5.05/kg including VAT by the end of the week, as demand continued to strengthen in the run up to the Eid al-Adha festival.

The EU's short term outlook, published last week, points to tightening in supplies of sheepmeat next year. Industry sources indicate that the official forecast of a continued decline in output may not take full account of greater producer positivity, on the back of good lamb prices, and limited options.

In either event, increases in supplies from New Zealand are expected to result in a higher level of exports from there to the EU next year.

Indo Farming