Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

All plants quote the 500c/kg base

While probably not just as solid as the Irish scrum in Christchurch on Saturday morning, the lamb trade has nonetheless remained steady in the past week, with all plants quoting the 500c/kg base.

Kepak Hacketstown are bucking the trend, with their quote being for yesterday only. Kildare Chilling have the 5c/kg QA bonus on top of the U grade bonus of 6c/kg to leave them slightly ahead of the rest at 500c/kg plus 6c/kg plus 5c/kg. The ICM's and Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 500c/kg plus 6c/kg, while Moyvalley are on an all-in quote of 500c/kg.

Sellers continue to bargain successfully for prices in excess of the €5/kg and are also negotiating weights over and above the 20.5kg. I did hear of 510c/kg to 21kg and 520c/kg to 20.5 kg being paid yesterday morning.

Commenting on the trade, the IFA's James Murphy said that lamb supplies remain tight with factories having to pay between 510-520c/kg to secure numbers with groups getting up to 530c/kg including bonuses. He added that weights are moving up to 21kg with some farmers getting up to 21.5kg. British prices are still substantially ahead of Irish prices.

As far as the hoggets are concerned it's a case of 'go west, young man' as the only plants quoting are Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis where the quotes are 400c/kg and 380c/kg respectively.

Cull ewe quotes have improved by 5c/kg at both ICM plants. They join those of Dawn and Kepak Hacketstown on 230c/kg. Kepak Athleague and Kildare Chilling are on an unchanged 220c/kg.

Bord Bia said the trade had lifted in response to tightening supplies combined with decent demand across key markets.

Irish lamb exports continue to be helped by the favourable exchange rate movement which is boosting the competitiveness of Irish lamb relative to British competition on export markets.

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Quotes for lambs by the end of the week were generally making from €5.00 to 5.10/kg. Demand for cull ewes remains firm with quotes still typically making from €2.20-2.30kg.

Trade in Britain was also helped by the jubilee celebrations and some slow down in supplies. By the weekend, new season lambs at live markets across Britain were making the equivalent of €5.56/kg.

Despite sluggish demand in France on account of difficult weather conditions, lower supplies from Britain have led to an improved trade. Some retailers have introduced promotions which are helping boost demand. Prices for Irish grade 1 spring lamb were making from €5.63/kg inclusive of VAT by the end of the week.

Demand is expected to pick up during the coming weeks before Ramadan in July.


Fermoy Mart reported a slightly stronger trade with most of the nice quality lambs making from €50-63 over the €/kg, while Kilkenny Mart felt the trade was back on last week with the butcher lambs moving at €54-61 with the weight and €53-61 over.

Good demand and prices up by €5/hd made for a very satisfactory sale at Enniscorthy Mart. Butcher lambs were making €55-60 over in a price range of €106-110. Factory types sold at €99-105 or €59-63 over. Stores were making €55-58 over returning prices of €77-85. Fat ewes sold for €95-110. Hoggets with a single lamb at foot were making from €200-220/unit, while aged breeding ewes with twin lambs sold from €225-240.

Dowra Mart reported an improved trade for sheep with the best of the lambs making €84-99, while a few pens of store lambs sold for €70-80/hd. The top ewe hoggets made from €100-130 with lesser quality lots making €75-95. Heavy cull ewe prices ranged from €80-100. Ewes for further feeding made €50-78.

Carnew Mart had a much bigger sale with 1,600 sheep on offer. A very strong trade saw prices fully maintained from the previous week. Butcher and factory lambs sold for €97-109 each. Stores made €75-90. Keen farmer demand resulted in ewe hoggets selling for €145-154. Cull ewe prices ran from €65 to 122.

Baltinglass reported improved numbers and trade for spring lambs with prices up by €3-5/hd from last week.

Indo Farming