Fears are realised as quotes tumble ¤10/lamb in week
Sheep farmers I spoke to at the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing Championships in Kilkenny on Sunday were well pleased with the lamb trade so far this year -- but they were also hoping that this week, following the bank holiday, would break with the tradition of significant quote and price drops.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but their worst fears are being realised to some extent as quotes have dipped significantly across the board.
A base of 540c/kg plus the bonus appears to be the quote in all the plants. This represents a fall of 45-50c/kg or €10/lamb since last Tuesday.
This is extremely disappointing given that supplies, while relatively strong, are not flooding the place and the domestic trade remains pretty strong. Farmers would be forgiven for thinking processors are making the most of the traditionally negative relationship between lamb prices and the June bank holiday weekend.
As you will see from the table, the aforementioned base quote is the same everywhere, apart from Moyvalley Meats where no quote was available.
The most striking aspect about the rest quoting the same figure is that it is the first time this year that all of the plants are singing off the same hymn sheet. Whether it makes any overall difference or not is debatable, but I always like to see some variation between the factories.
I just feel it gives producers more scope for bargaining before they sell. However, it is still imperative that bargaining on price and carcass weight is done as prices well above the quotes are being paid.
The quality assurance bonus on top of the normal bonus leaves Kildare at the top at 551c/kg when all is added up. This equates to €115.71 on 21kg. There is €2.75/lamb to be gained if you get a half kilogramme more and then work on upping the quote.