Farm Ireland

Sunday 19 November 2017

Desperate factories shelling out 600c/kg

Joe Healy

The spring lamb trade is a bit like the Galway hurlers qualifying for the league final, even though they failed to score for 64 minutes from play. It is a case of "we will take it and say nothing".

Farmers selling young lambs at the moment are only being quoted 560-570c/kg plus the bonus but they are almost all getting the 600c/kg. Some factories are obviously very anxious not to quote up at this figure, but they are willing to pay it and the farmer is happy to take it and move on.

The top quote of a base 570c/kg plus 6c/kg is available from Kildare chilling and Kepak Hacketstown with the two western plants on 560c/kg plus the bonus.

None of the other plants are quoting for spring lambs but in most cases they are freely paying the 600c/kg. They all have to pay this price if they want to get supplies, as there is a lively trade for nicely finished lambs in the marts with €88-93 over the weight being common enough.

Just before going to press, Moyvalley came in with a top quote of 600c/kg.

"They are like a good Easter egg -- it is difficult to separate them," was how Des Cahill described a half-time score last Sunday. The same could be said of all the factories when it comes to quotes for the hoggets today. To a plant, they are almost all offering 480c/kg plus the bonus.

Moyvalley are the odd ones out having reduced their quote to an all-in 470c/kg. Despite those quotes, most have to pay 500c/kg with the odd price of 490c/kg also being reported.

IFA's James Murphy said that for the small number of spring lambs available, farmers were getting up to €130 in the marts and the factories, with farmers in general holding out for and getting €5/kg for their hoggets.

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Kildare are leading the way for the cull ewes on a quote of 280c/kg. Both ICM plants are on 260c/kg, while Kepak Athleague is offering 250c/kg.

Meanwhile, Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade remained strong throughout the week with tight supplies of both hoggets and spring lamb reported. Market demand in France held up during the week.

The cull ewe trade remained firm with 270c/kg available.

On a year-to-date basis up to the end of March, supplies are running 14pc or 72,000hd lower.

In Britain there was an improvement in the live market as a tight supply situation helped trade. By the end of the week, the average old season SQQ price stood at the equivalent of 484c/kg, including VAT, in England and Wales.

In France, the lamb trade was stable with trade being largely driven by New Zealand, French and British supplies.

The limited volumes of Irish lamb on the market were generally making 515c/kg including VAT for Grade 1 carcasses delivered to Paris.

Irish Independent

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