Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

End of Ramadan and return of British lamb could hit prospects


Joe Healy

One up and none down. At first glance this would appear positive, but several of the factory sources were relatively hesitant for the prospects for the week ahead.

The factories cited the end of Ramadan and a return of British lamb to the market today after yesterday's bank holiday as possible threats to price over the next few days.

Having said that, we are where we are and for the moment the quotes remain very similar to last week.

Moyvalley is the plant that is increasing its offer and is on an all-in quote of 470c/kg for today.

Both Kepak plants are on a base quote of 460c/kg plus 5c/kg but Hacketstown's figure was for yesterday only.

Kildare Chilling remain on 450c/kg plus 6c/kg plus 5c/kg. Elsewhere, it is also a case of "as you were" with the two ICMs and Dawn Ballyhaunis quoting an unchanged base of 450c/kg plus the bonus.

At this stage farmers need to keep their lambs thriving. Lambs "stunting" in this period can be difficult to get going again and can take quite a while to get that quality saleable look back.

If you have ewe lambs it would be worth your while to try the mart, as farmer-buying for these is strong at the moment.

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IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that lamb supplies are tighter at the factories, with prices ranging from €4.70-4.80. He added that the French market remains solid.

There is no change to the quotes for the cull ewes. The ICM plants, Kildare Chilling and Kepak Hacketstown are offering 270c/kg, with the plants in the west quoting 250c/kg. Moyvalley are not quoting for the ewes.

An Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade in Britain slipped on the back of stronger supplies emerging onto the market, combined with some unfavourable exchange movement.

By the weekend live market prices stood at the equivalent of €4.63/kg including VAT.

Trade remained relatively steady in France as demand has risen since the closure of the Ramadan festival despite larger volumes of British product appearing on the market.

Irish grade 1 spring lamb were reported to be making from around €4.94-5.05/kg by the end of the week.

Indo Farming