Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Buoyant trade sees sellers digging in for better prices

Sellers are digging in for better prices
Sellers are digging in for better prices

Joe Healy jhealy@

While no Valentine's Day cards were exchanged, the relationship between the sheep processors and the farmers remains quite positive as strong quotes continue to be offered. If anything, sellers are probably digging in a little tougher and holding out to secure improved prices this week.

The lamb quotes have not changed since this day week with all the main players continuing to offer a base of 520c/kg plus the various bonuses which range between 5-10c/kg.

The two ICM plants are paying an extra 10c/kg for quality assured lambs. Kildare Chilling are offering an extra 5c/kg for QA lambs as well as 5c/kg for lots grading U. The 6c/kg bonus from Kepak is for QA lambs. An all-in quote of 540c/kg is being offered in Moyvalley Meats.

Some of the plants are reporting adequate supplies, but none of them are complaining of lairages being packed.

Overall, supplies for the first five weeks of the year are back by 5pc or 11,000hd which equates to roughly a third of one weeks kill.

Producers are aware of this and feel they are in a strong position to bargain hard and maximize the value of their stock and this is the reason that some of them are bargaining hard for a base price of 560c/kg.

Many are getting up to 555c/kg without any major haggling with very few having to sell below 550c/kg.

It would appear that quite a few lambs are killing out over the agreed carcase weight of 23-24kg. The farmer gets nothing for this. There are two options here. Either sell at the mart to a lively butcher trade or ensure that you move your lambs quicker.

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Both ICM plants have upped their quote for cull ewes by 10c/kg. This moves them onto 330c/kg. No changes elsewhere leaves Kildare on a base of 320c/kg plus the 10c/kg bonus they are paying for QA ewes. Kepak Athleague continue to offer 310c/kg. Supplies remain tight and continue to run at approximately 25pc behind last years levels. Where numbers are involved, prices of up to and over 350c/kg are being bargained for.

In Britain, the trade has firmed with some strengthening also reported in the cull ewe trade. The SQQ live price for lambs in England and Wales was making the equivalent of around €5.80/kg deadweights towards the end of the week.

Sheep Marts

The trade was extremely solid at the marts around the country throughout the past week and this trend appeared to be continuing at yesterdays sales in Athenry, Fermoy and Kilkenny.

The good well-fleshed heavier lambs in Athenry made from €63-78 with the €1/kg.

The €78 over was achieved when a pen of quality 52kg lambs sold for €130. Lighter types made from €48-60 over in the main.

The better lambs in Fermoy were also making up to a tops of €78 with the weight in a range of €66-78 over. Lighter lambs of 34-45kg made varied from €39-69 over. Cull ewes ranged from €90-150/hd.

Kilkenny reported a small sale but good trade. Cull ewes were selling for €80-150. Butcher lambs ranged from €60-74 over the weight at prices varying from €105-133. Factory types sold for €60-70 over in a range from €102-116. Stores made from €35-47 with the €/kg selling to a tops of €85.

New Ross had 645 sheep on offer. Butcher and factory lambs sold for €118-128 or from €68-81 over €1/kg. There was a very lively trade for the stores with a price range from €94-112 with the higher figure paid for super pen of 41kg stores.

Heavy cull ewes were selling from €120-154/hd. Lighter lots made from €68-117.

The sheep trade was very strong at Dowra Mart last Saturday. Factory lambs were making €90-130, while short keep stores made from €80-95. Lighter stores made €60-80 each.

Black face ewes at Maam Cross sold for €65-90. The ewe lambs moved at €48-80.Crossbred lambs ranged from €63 to €107 while the mountainy wether lambs made €48-88.

Indo Farming