Go east to grab an extra 20c/kg

Joe Healy

"It's a moment of television history," said Sky's Alan Parry as last Sunday's match between Arsenal and Manchester United kicked off to become the first live 3D sports broadcast.

Well today's base quotes for lambs may very well be another little bit of history because it is the first time in quite a while that a gap of 20c/kg is evident between the top and bottom.

For the higher figures it is a case of go east (this time) young man as Moyvalley and Kildare Chilling are setting a hot pace, with the former increasing their quote by 20c/kg since last Tuesday to an all-in 470c/kg.

There was a similar lift from Kildare to leave them on 465c/kg plus 6c/kg. They are anxious, however, to stick to a weight limit of 22.5kg. With it being a farmer's market at the moment this may prove to be a case of easier said than done. In the west, Kepak Athleague has moved up by 15c/kg to a base of 460c/kg plus the bonus.

The bad news is that once you move away from those three plants you would nearly require the lift to take you down to the rest. Despite increasing their quotes by 5-10c/kg, they are still only at 450c/kg plus the bonus. Factories included here are Dawn Ballyhaunis, Kepak Hacketstown and the two ICM plants. ICM Camolin's quote was for yesterday only.

IFA's sheep chairman James Murphy said that, with lamb supplies extremely tight, the processors were struggling to get numbers and were having to pay up to, and over, 480c/kg to a 23kg weight to get stock.

The cull ewe trade continues to remain very strong. Again, it is Kildare at the top with their 270c/kg quote. Both ICM factories have increased by 10c/kg to leave them quoting 250c/kg. The western plants and Kepak Hacketstown are all on 240c/kg, while Moyvalley are unchanged at 200c/kg.

For the week ending January 23, total sheep supplies at export meat plants reached 37,500hd, some 4,900hd below the same week last year. To-date, sheep supplies are back 21pc on last year's levels at 134,600hd. The trade at the British live markets has improved in response to tighter supplies. By the end of the week, the average old season SQQ price stood at the equivalent of 492c/kg including VAT in England and Wales. However, the recent strengthening in sterling has eroded some of the competitiveness of British lamb.

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