Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Eid Al Adha festival end fails to stifle flying trade

Joe Healy

The Burmese pro-democracy people were not the only ones enjoying good news over the past few days as their heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi, was finally freed from house arrest after 15 years.

Irish sheep farmers have had the liberated feeling since this time last year, and the trade has been flying over the past week thanks to the Muslim Eid Al Adha festival. Unfortunately, that festival ends this week but a lot of our lamb population has been slaughtered at this stage and supplies should not be a negative factor for the remainder of the season.

As late as last Friday, some factories were willing to pay as high as 480c/kg to secure stock, with reports of 470c/kg paid yesterday. A 10c/kg improvement on quotes is evident everywhere, as far as the quotes are concerned.

This leaves them all on a base of 440c/kg. When you add their quality assurance bonus of 5c/kg to their 440c/kg base plus the extra 6c/kg for the U grades, Kildare Chilling retain top spot on a total for the good lambs of 451c/kg.

All of the rest, apart from Moyvalley Meats, are offering 440c/kg plus the bonus for the better lambs. Moyvalley is on an all-in 440c/kg. Some of the factory men are anxious to point out that quite a lot of heavy lambs are being brought in, with a big percentage killing out at 24-25kg.

This is a waste for the farmer as he will only get paid up to 23kg at most. If you are definitely going to sell to the factory then save yourself money and sell at proper weights. If you have heavy lambs, then go to the mart where butchers and wholesalers are willing to pay extra for those types. Factories that are buying the lighter type lamb are generally offering the same for them as the base they are quoting for the heavier types.

IFA's James Murphy said that on the back of very strong buying this week factories were commonly paying 460-470c/kg, with some farmers getting 480c/kg recently.

The ewe trade has also strengthened. Again, it is Kildare at the top with its quote of 260c/kg. The ICM and Kepak plants are on 250c/kg, while Dawn is offering 240c/kg. Moyvalley is not quoting for ewes today. The quotes are strong and farmers are actually bargaining successfully for prices of 280-300c/kg

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In Britain, lamb prices benefited from some strengthening in sterling, the latest report from Bord Bia confirmed. At the auction markets, prices improved as the week progressed, reaching the equivalent of 424c/kg deadweight including VAT towards the weekend.

In France, trade was limited for volumes of Irish lamb. Normal export activity resumed following the ending of strikes, which should help restore trade. Prices being paid for grade 1 Irish lambs stood at around 484c/kg, including VAT, for much of the week.

Irish Independent