Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lamb finishers enjoying continued rise in prices

Joe Healy

The sheep trade made sure that Fine Gael didn't command all the good news over the weekend. While Enda's party and his county's footballers enjoyed a great few days, lamb finishers were also enjoying a significant increase in quotes and more importantly, prices, as the €5/kg was well and truly broken with supplies continuing to tighten.

All plants have upped their quotes by 10-15c/kg since this day last week, but actual prices being paid are showing an even greater improvement. The table shows Moyvalley in the lead as a 10c/kg jump finally sees €5/kg being quoted. The 5c/kg quality assurance bonus on top of the normal bonus on offer from Kildare brings their quote over the €5/kg when added to their base of 490c/kg. Thereafter, all of the other plants have also increased their quotes by 15c/kg to leave them quoting 490c/kg plus the bonus.

As well as bargaining on price most farmers are getting paid for a 23-23.5kg carcass. Incidentally, more than one factory source was pointing out that a lot of the lambs being offered are overweight with one factory man estimating that over 40pc of the lambs coming in were too heavy. The message is clear. Farmers need to move the lambs on sooner when they get to the proper weight. There is no point losing money putting on extra weight and not getting paid for it.

The IFA's James Murphy said that a much livelier trade this week is resulting in prices of up to 515c/kg being paid with 510c/kg widely available as scarce supplies have factories and agents vigorously competing with each other to secure stock.

Ewe quotes have also increased by 5-15c/kg in some of the plants. Dawn Ballyhaunis are up by 15c/kg, Kildare Chilling and Kepak Hacketstown are offering 280c/kg, while 270c/kg is the quote from the two ICMs and Kepak Athleague.

There was some lift in the sheep trade over the past week, according to Bord Bia, as relatively tight Irish and British supplies continued to help trade. Quotes for lambs were typically averaging around €4.95/kg for most of the week. Trade for cull ewes remained unchanged at €2.70/kg. Supplies to date of sheep at meat export plants are down 4pc.

In the UK, the trade weakened slightly. By the weekend, live market prices were making the equivalent of €5/kg dw including VAT.

In France, demand is being helped by households returning to normal activity following the mid-term break.

Also Read

Volumes of Irish lamb on the market remain small with Grade 1 lamb delivered to Paris reported to be making around €5.26/kg inclusive of VAT. Similarly, supplies from the UK have become somewhat tighter.

Indo Farming