Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Farmers in strong position on prices

Joe Healy

WHILE the lamb quotes might not be jumping quite as well as Derval O'Rourke on her way to winning European silver on Saturday, they have all cleared last week's levels and in all but one case have jumped up by 5c/kg.

Even better is the fact that most buyers are willing to pay well above what they are quoting and are open to negotiation on carcass weight.

Supplies continue to be tight and the ball is well and truly in the farmers' court as a result. Producer groups are using their strong position to secure prices of up to 460c/kg.

Not to be overshadowed by their footballers' big win over Meath, Kildare Chilling is leading the way on quotes when all bonuses are added in. They are working off a base of 439c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus for the U grades as well as the 5c/kg bonus for the quality assured lambs.

This leaves them on a total of 450c/kg before the farmer starts bargaining.

Kepak Hacketstown is quoting 440c/kg plus 5c/kg. Thereafter, all of the rest are on a base of 435c/kg plus the bonus, leaving Moyvalley Meats as the only plant not to move on quotes over the week. The 435c/kg it's offering is an all-in quote.

It is imperative that you bargain and make a price as well as knowing the exact carcass weight you are getting before you sell. Otherwise you will only get paid whatever the factory is quoting.

In some instances this could prove to be anything from 10c/kg to 20c/kg -- or €2.50-4.50/hd -- of a difference.

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There has also been positive movement on the cull ewe front, even though Kepak Athleague and Moyvalley are not quoting.

Both ICMs have increased by 10c/kg to join Kildare Chilling and Kepak Hacketstown on 250c/kg.

Dawn Ballyhaunis remains on 220c/kg.

The lamb trade picked up last week according to Bord Bia, as the upcoming bank holiday weekend helped demand. Quotes for lambs by the end of the week were making around 440c/kg with reports of more being available for better quality animals.

The cull ewe trade eased slightly with quotes in the range of 230c/kg to 240c/kg.

Sheep supplies remain tight with disposals for the week-ending July 24 reaching 46,800 head, which was 2,500 head below the same week last year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that more producers are holding onto ewe lambs for the forthcoming breeding season.

In the UK, the live market trade weakened somewhat during the week due to larger supplies emerging.

The average new season SQQ price in England and Wales stood at the equivalent of 433c/kg towards the weekend, including VAT.

In France, quotes for Grade 1 Irish spring lamb delivered to Paris stood at approximately 455c/kg including VAT with demand recovering somewhat as the Eid festival approaches.

Elsewhere, the latest UK Kantar report for the quarter ending June 13 shows household purchases of lamb fell by over 9pc on the same period last year to 22,000 tonnes.

The average retail price for lamb jumped by almost 9pc to £7.54/kg.

Irish Independent

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