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.