Sheep price cuts appear to be contagious
The Kepak Athleague quote for hoggets fell last week by 15c/kg, while Kildare Chilling dropped their hogget quote by 10c/kg.
This week, while Kildare hold steady on hoggets at €5.40+10c/kg (quality assurance) Kepak drop its quote for hoggets another 15c/kg to €5.00+15c/kg.
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A bit like an outbreak of measles in a school this week the infection on prices has spread. The two ICM plants dropped their quotes for hoggets yesterday by 30c/kg, while Dawn Ballyhaunis didn't quote. This leaves Moyvalley Meats at the top of the table for hoggets with their offering of €5.50/kg while the two ICMs and Kepak are at the other end on €5.00/kg plus their various bonuses.
The story on new season lamb is also one of contagion with prices falling by between 20-30c/kg with only Kildare Chilling holding their ground. From top to bottom the table reads as follows, Dawn Ballyhaunis no quote, the two ICM plants back 30c/kg to €6.00+10c/kg bonus, Kepak Athleague back 20c/kg to €6.00/kg+15c/kg bonus, Kildare Chilling as mentioned unchanged on €6.40+10c/kg bonus, while Moyvalley Meats dropped their quote for new lamb yesterday 20c/kg to €6.30/kg.
Speaking with suppliers there is a huge sense of disappointment across the sheep farming community. "I was hopeful that with Easter and Ramadan so close together this year we might have seen a really good bounce in price," was the comment from a local sheep farmer here in Waterford.
There were similar, if more strongly worded comments from others I spoke with up the country.
What is noticeable from looking at the price table below is the disparity between Kildare Chilling and the other players on the table.
There is a 40c/kg gap on hogget between them and the two ICMs plus Kepak which means in theory Kildare are paying up to €9.40/kg more for hogget.
Moyvalley at €5.50/kg are 10c/kg more meaning the difference rises to €11.75/kg on a 23.5kg carcase.
Sean McNamara ICSA's sheep chairman was not happy when I spoke with him yesterday morning. Sean was concerned that the supply of lamb coming down from the North was what was doing the damage.
For now though it up to the various farm organisations in cooperation with the Department to monitor this trade and see that all the 't's are crossed and 'i's dotted.
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