Downward pressure on prices looks set to continue
Downward pressure on sheep quotes and prices has continued this week. Most of the plants were killing lambs yesterday at quotes similar to what was on offer last week, but only Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley Meats retained the exact quotes they had this day last week – 590c/kg plus the bonuses of 5c/kg QA and 5c/kg top up for U grades from Kildare and an all-in quote of 600c/kg from Moyvalley.
Both ICM factories were also quoting 590c/kg plus the 10c/kg for quality assured lambs yesterday, but they have dropped to a base of 580c/kg plus the bonus for today. Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague are offering 580c/kg plus 6c/kg for U grade lambs today.
Carcase weights being offered vary slightly between 20-20.5kg, but it is worth remembering that while a half kg may not seem much it is worth almost €3/lamb or up to 15c/kg. This makes it well worth bargaining for.
Hogget supplies continue to tighten, but this hasn't prevented quotes from slipping further with drops of 20-30c/kg evident from all the processors.
The larger falls are associated with the ICM plants where the 30c/kg reduction brings them back to a base quote of 520c/kg plus the 10c/kg QA bonus.
Farmers with very heavy hoggets would fare out much better by selling them at the marts and the same can be said for ewe hoggets especially if they are of a good quality. There is keen interest at the marts for these types from farmers looking ahead to the next breeding season and this has led to some very favourable prices compared to what they might make if slaughtered at a factory.
Quotes for the cull ewes remain pretty similar to last week's levels at 240c/kg. The only plant showing a difference is Kepak Athleague where a 10c/kg dip pulls them back to 230c/kg.