Bargain hard to land best deals
One up, one holding and five back. This is the state of play with the sheep plants when compared to last week.
Even those that are down are nowhere near as frazzled as our former Defence Minister, Willie O'Dea, in that they are still hanging in there despite a 5-10c/kg decline in quotes.
Incidentally, one of the two plants showing the 10c/kg drop in the quotes is ICM Camolin and as late as yesterday morning, lambs were being slaughtered in their factory at a price of 480c/kg. This was, and is, the case in quite a few other plants. This illustrates the importance of bargaining and not just accepting what they offer.
As you will see from the table, the aforementioned plant in the south east is not killing again until Thursday. Also on the table, you will notice that as far as quotes are concerned, Moyvalley is tops with its increased quote of 470c/kg.
Kildare Chilling is next in line on a base of 460c/kg plus 6c/kg for the better quality types. Both Kepaks and Dawn Ballyhaunis are down 5c/kg to 455c/kg plus the bonus, while the two ICM plants are offering 450c/kg plus 6c/kg.
A few of the factory men have said the markets remain a little sluggish with the tight supplies being the saving grace at the moment. They also pointed out quite strongly that a lot of the lambs being offered are too heavy, and killing out from 23kg up to 26kg is not suitable for the markets. My own advice to farmers with those heavier types would be to sell at the livestock marts as there is very good demand there, with up to €115/hd paid for lambs in Athenry mart yesterday. Most of the heavy lambs there made around €50 over the weight.
Feeders are not parting with suitable lambs below 480c/kg according to IFA's James Murphy. He said that at this price, the processors still had a sizeable margin.
Kildare's quote of 260c/kg keeps them tops for the cull ewes. The Kepak and ICM plants are quoting 240c/kg, while Dawn Ballyhaunis is unchanged at 220c/kg.
The sheep trade remained steady over the past week, according to Bord Bia, as tight supplies and a stable domestic market helped to offset a slower demand in France. Quotes for lambs at export meat plants are still generally in the range of 465c/kg while trade for cull ewes has dipped slightly to 220-230c/kg.
In the UK, trade at the live markets has eased in response to lower demand from the French market. By the end of the week, the average old season SQQ price stood at the equivalent of 470c/kg including VAT in England and Wales, despite a tightening in supplies.
In France, demand for lamb is seasonally quieter.
Meanwhile at the marts, Maam Cross had a good show of sheep this week and prices were similar to previous weeks.
However, a slightly easier trade was reported at Dowra mart where best demand was for young in-lamb ewes, which were making €120-140/hd. At Headford mart hoggets were making €85-115/hd.
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