Farmers dig in and won't sell lambs at lower levels

Joe Healy

The lamb trade remains relatively steady despite one or two plants pulling the quotes slightly. Having said that, they are all having to pay well above the quoted figure to get supplies as farmers dig in and refuse to sell at the lower levels.

The two Kepak plants are tops today on an unchanged base of 650c/kg plus the bonus. Moyvalley is offering an all-in quote of 650c/kg. A 10c/kg drop in Kildare leaves it quoting 640c/kg plus the double bonus of 6 and 5c/kg. A similar drop in both ICMs and Dawn Ballyhaunis results in a base of 640c/kg plus 6c/kg.

Farmers are also arguing successfully to get the carcass weights up from the 21kgs the plants are trying to stick to. Remember a half kilogramme is worth €3.30-3.40/lamb (15-16c/kg) and is worth the effort.

As hogget supplies continue to dry up, a number of factories have stopped quoting. The figure is steady from the plants continuing to quote with Kildare, Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague remaining on a base of 580c/kg plus the bonus while Kepak Hacketstown is on 570c/kg plus 5c/kg.

The IFA's James Murphy said that, due to tight supplies, factories were having to pay well above the quotes with prices of between €6.80-7.00 up to 21-21.5kg paid in order to compete with the wholesalers. He added that good quality hoggets were commanding prices of as high as €6.20/kg to 24kg and he urged farmers to get top value for their stock by shopping around and bargaining hard.

Dawn, Kildare, Kepak Hacketstown and the ICM plants are all on 300c/kg for the cull ewes. The others are not quoting.

Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade remained firm last week as a further slowdown in hogget numbers, combined with tight spring lamb supplies, boosted trade.

Quotes for spring lambs were generally in the range of €6.50-6.70/kg although more was reported to be available in many parts of the country. Hoggets remained at around €5.80/kg as numbers dwindle. A good manufacturing demand continues to help the cull ewe trade with prices of €2.80-€3.00/kg being reported.

Get the latest news from the Farming Independent team 3 times a week.

In the UK, the spring lamb trade improved further during the week as the recent public holidays have left supplies tight. By the weekend, live market prices stood at the equivalent of €7/kg for new season lambs. The hogget trade was steady with market prices by the weekend reaching the equivalent of €5.85/kg dw including VAT.

In France, the market continues to adjust after the recent public holidays with demand reported to have slowed during the week, although overall supplies on the market are limited. Towards the end of the week prices for Irish grade 1 spring lamb were reported to be making €6.74-6.84/kg inclusive of VAT.

Indo Farming

For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App