Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Kildare top quotes with all-in 450c/kg

Joe Healy

Whatever about Toronto mayor Rob Ford admitting to taking his crack, there is very little craic to be had if you are selling sheep at the moment.

Getting the quotes yesterday morning was no more exciting than watching the first half of the Ireland versus Samoa match on Saturday evening. The Brian O'Driscoll pass back between the legs moment was left to the 5c/kg rise to the base quote from Kildare Chilling. This moves the Lilywhites further ahead at the top of the quotes at 440c/kg, plus the two 5c/kg bonuses for Quality Assured and U grade lambs.

In fairness to their neighbours Moyvalley, the quotes from there are more or less a match for an all-in figure of 450c/kg. Elsewhere it's a case of "as you were", with both ICM plants, Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two Kepaks all continuing to quote a base price of 435c/kg plus the U grade bonus.

With the cost of getting the lambs to this stage, farmers need to ensure that they maximise their value by bargaining hard on both price and weight.

Most reasonable sellers are getting a minimum price of 450c/kg, with a lot of lambs making between 455-460c/kg to 22kg.

Some tougher sellers are bargaining for 22.5kg, with this extra half kg worth up to €2.30/lamb or close on 10c/kg. Sometimes it might prove easier to get the processor to move on the weight side.

In any case the even €100 must be the minimum farmers settle for. To get this though, the lambs need to be nicely finished. If this requires meal then so be it.

Commenting on the trade, the IFA's James Murphy said that with numbers tightening in factories and marts, farmers must bargain to get the price up in line with the better returns in France and Britain.

Also Read

The ICM plants and Kildare Chilling remain tops for the cull ewes, with their unchanged quotes of 200c/kg. Dawn are offering 190c/kg, while both Kepak factories are on 180c/kg. Again, as with the lambs, farmers willing to put in a bit of effort are securing prices of 220-230c/kg.

To date this year, sheep supplies at meat export plants are running around 9pc or 185,200hd higher at 2.19m head.

According to Bord Bia, the trade across Britain edged upwards, reflecting some favourable exchange movement.

By the weekend, new season lamb at live markets across England and Wales were making the equivalent of around €4.81kg including VAT.

In France, trade improved as there was some uplift in demand levels as consumers continue to stock up in advance of next week's bank holiday.


Trade at the sheep marts has been at the very least holding its own and probably improved in some salesyards over the past week. Store lambs remain in keen demand, with farmers showing a preference for them over cattle especially in heavier ground to graze out a pretty substantial amount of grass that is still out there on many farms. Cull ewes and fleshed lambs were a solid trade but breeding ewes are beginning to taper off at this stage.

Lambs fit for slaughter at Athenry Mart yesterday were selling for €45-53 with the €1/kg. A top call of €110 for 51kg or €59 over was reported at Fermoy Mart. In the main, the fit lambs made from €46-54 with the weight. In Kilkenny, the lambs over 50kg were making from €41-54 over their weight at prices ranging from €95 to €110. The 40-50kg types sold for prices of €83-100 or €43-52 over. The 2,400 sheep on offer at Carnew Mart hit on an improved trade, with fat and store lambs up by €3-4/hd. Butcher and factory lambs sold at prices of €89-108.

Sheep numbers were smaller at Dowra Mart and trade was similar to previous weeks, with the best of the store lambs making from €60-82 each. The lighter stores made €28-60. Ewe lambs for breeding sold from €70-95, while ewe hoggets on offer ranged from €80 to €125 each. Numbers on offer at Mountbellew Mart were down on the previous week. Lambs were a similar trade with good demand especially for heavier lots of store lambs and quality lots of ewe lambs. Lambs fit for slaughter were selling for €85-100. Ewes for feeding sold back to €58.

Baltinglass reported a livelier trade for the lambs and cull ewes in the 1,700 sheep presented for sale. The buzz is more or less over in the breeding section with €110 being the top price.

At Mayo/Sligo Mart, the fleshed lambs hit a high of €105. The best of the breeding ewes sold to €100.

Irish Independent