Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 27 May 2018

Downward pressure on prices looks set to continue

The only plant showing a difference for cull ewes was Kepak in Athleague.
The only plant showing a difference for cull ewes was Kepak in Athleague.

Joe Healy

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.

Marts

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Most of the marts reported prices to be back by €3-4/hd over the past week.

Fermoy was probably the pick of yesterday's sales with the nicely fleshed spring lambs of 50kg+ making from €70-87 with the €/kg. Top price was €138 for 51kg. Plainer types and lighter lots made anything from €50-65 with their weight.

Prices in Athenry ranged from €60-79 over the weight in general with a top price of €128 paid for 49kg. Ewes with twin lambs at foot topped out at €200 while ewes with singles made up to €167. Cull ewes ranged from €80-128.

Trade was described as livelier than last week at Kilkenny Mart especially for the factory types which made from €70-86 over the €/kg in a price range of €110-133. Butcher lambs sold for €60-81 with their weight. Carnew Mart had 1,100 sheep on offer and trade was easier by €4/hd. Spring lambs were selling for €100-124. Cull ewes sold for €45-113.

Prices for spring lambs in Tullow were down by €3-4/hd. Lambs over 42Kg were selling for €124-130.

Dowra Mart reported a slightly easier sheep trade on Saturday. Ewes with lambs at foot made from €170-220 each.

Mountbellew reported a steady number of cull ewes, hoggets and spring lambs. There was a large number of ewes with lambs at foot. Spring lambs generally made from €90-113. Top prices for hoggets was €150 for 10 ewes weighing 56kg. Wether hoggets were scarce and sold to €2.33/kg.

Black face ewes with lambs at foot over in Maam Cross sold for €55-115. Hoggets made up to €105. Cross bred lambs sold for €55-86.

Indo Farming