They say that it is an ill wind that doesn't blow good to someone. Sheep farmers had feared that last week's downpours may have "blown good" to the factories by increasing supplies and therefore slowing down any increase to price and quotes.
However, while a few plants said that numbers had improved, others admitted that supplies remained tight.
The bottom line is that all plants have upped their quotes by 10-20c/kg, with actual prices being paid reflecting this increase. Farmers are readily negotiating prices up to the even money at €5/kg with reports of €5.10/kg being secured.
The two ICM plants, not for the first time in recent months, lead the way. A 20c/kg rise pushes them up to a base of 470c/kg plus the 10c/kg QA bonus. The rest of the main players show an increase of 10c/kg which moves them up to a base of 460c/kg plus the bonuses. Kildare Chilling continue to split their overall bonus into a 5c/kg QA top-up and a 5c/kg U grade bonus. In the West, Kepak Athleague are giving a 6c/kg bonus for QA lambs while the 6c/kg top-up from Dawn is for the U grades. Moyvalley are offering an all-in quote of 480c/kg.
Commenting on the trade, the IFA's John Lynskey said that strong demand from the market place allied to scarce supplies was resulting in the factories paying from 490-500c/kg to get lambs with a tops of 510c/kg paid.
Quotes for the cull ewes were up by 10c/kg in Kepak, the ICMs and Kildare. This leaves them at 270c/kg with the Lilywhites also offering an extra 10c/kg for QA ewes.
Dawn remain on 260c/kg while Moyvalley are not quoting. Farmers with numbers are doing deals on price and weight and refusing to sell at less than €3/kg. With a strong trade for store ewes at the marts it is advisable to refrain from killing underfleshed stock.
Trade was fairly solid at the sheep marts last week and this trend continued yesterday. The heavier well-fleshed lambs in Athenry and Fermoy were making from €55-64 with their weight. Lighter lots in both places were selling for €40-52 over the €/kg as the strong store trade continues.
Well fleshed heavy ewes were a very strong trade in Fermoy and hit a high of €132. The rest sold from this back to €69 for stores.
Lambs were up by €2-4 at Kilkenny mart where numbers on offer were smaller than normal. Butcher lambs were making from €56-63 with the weight in a price-range of €106-121. Factory lots made from €52-63 over with a top price of €112 paid for 49kg. Stores sold up to €80/hd. Prices for cull ewes varied from €70-120.
Baltinglass had 1,500 sheep on offer. Trade was similar to the previous week for most types. Heavy lambs were up €1-2/hd at €102-114. The 45-50kg lambs made from €96-102. Lighter lots sold for €85-96. Ewe lambs peaked at €127. Cull ewe prices ran from €70-115. Breeding ewes topped out at €142.
Sheep numbers were smaller and trade was similar to the previous week at Dowra last Friday. The good store lambs were making from €65-90. Lighter stores made from €45-65 each. Quality ewe lambs were selling from €85-110. Plainer types moved at €65-85. Cull ewes for grazing made from €45-75 while the heavier lots made from €75-110 each.
The large turnout of 3,200 hd at Carnew mart hit on a solid trade. Butcher and factory lambs were selling for €95-111. Stores made from €75-94. Cull ewes ranged from €65-125.
At Mayo/Sligo mart, the nice quality lambs were selling for €€2.15-2.34/kg. Breeding ewes sold to a tops of €150. Culls topped out at €105. Sheep were a strong trade in Ennis with butcher's lambs making up to €124 or €2.26/kg.
Numbers were down in Mountbellew. Cull ewes sold for €80-122. Ewe lambs sold to €117 or €67 with the weight. Lambs for slaughter made from €46-58.
Email: jhealy@ independent.ie