Egyptian beef deal in the pipeline as price pressures see finishers change tack
Weanling prices up by €50-70/hd while lamb takes a dip
An agreement by Egypt to accept live imports from Ireland for fattening stock is expected to be confirmed by officials this week
The news comes as increasing numbers of finishers are reportedly opting to invest in store lambs rather than weanlings this year due to the strong mart trade for quality stock.
Factory quotes for lambs dropped by 25c/kg, shaving around €6/head off over the week as the spring numbers began to build. The fall was also mirrored across the water in Britain, where prices were back €8/hd.
Mike Kissane of Iveragh Mart in south Kerry maintained that finishers in the midlands and east are opting for store lambs rather than expensive weanlings. "If you had €10,000 to spend, would you rather have 10 weanlings or 150 store lambs?" he asked.
Mr Kissane claimed there was massive demand for lowland store lambs from midlands buyers. He said up to 800 a week were being weighed and delivered to buyers, primarily in Westmeath, Kildare and Offaly.
Good-quality stores up to 30-35kgs are making €2.10/kg or around €70-75/hd. The bulk of these are Texel, Charollais or Suffolk lambs. Crossbred lambs are making around €2/kg.
Mr Kissane attributed the stronger demand from midlands buyers to a degree of caution among farmers regarding the cattle trade.
He said prices for autumn-born weanlings were up €50-70/hd at two special sales in Iveragh Mart in July.