All plants move to 440c/kg base quote
Thankfully the sheep trade more reflects our soccer players than our rugby lads at the moment. And mirroring the flag last Friday night which read "North men South men, comrades all", the factories appear to have a similar lamb base quote everywhere.
While there is a long way to go, it seems that a step in the right direction has at least been taken. Tightening supplies are definitely helping the trade, which is also being helped by firm to strengthening demand in Britain and France.
All the plants have now moved up to a base of 440c/kg. This means that a 5c/kg rise has occurred in the two Kepak's, Dawn Ballyhaunis and both ICM factories to move in line with Kildare Chilling at 440c/kg. All continue to offer the bonus of 5-6c/kg for U grading lambs. However, Kildare still set the pace by virtue of its extra 5c/kg bonus for quality assured (QA) stock. Its neighbours in Moyvalley continue to quote an all-in figure of 450c/kg.
Factories are anxious for well finished lambs as numbers are slackening off. Farmers should ensure that the lambs they are selling over the next few weeks are fed adequately and are suitable for slaughter before they decide to sell. Do not sell under fleshed lambs. Factories don't want them and penalties will ensure that you lose money.
It should pay to keep them an extra while on meal to get them fit. If you have nicely fleshed QA lambs to sell you are in a good position to bargain hard on both weight and price as competition grows between the processors for good stock.
The IFA's James Murphy said that farmers needed to ensure they maximised the value of their lambs. He added that many farmers were securing prices in excess of 460c/kg with the odd strong seller negotiating prices of up to 470c/kg to 23kg.
A farmer securing this is getting a gross price of €108, while a soft seller accepting the quote of 440c/kg plus the bonus to 22kg might be only getting a gross price €98/hd or €10 less per lamb.
The two ICM plants and Kildare continue to lead the way on the cull ewes with quotes of 200c/kg. Dawn is offering 190c/kg while both Kepak's remain on 180c/kg.