Lamb quotes are steady as supplies remain tight
The lamb quotes are almost as steady as the Munster defence was in the Magners League final last Saturday but that is as good as it gets. Anyone expecting a Barcelona-type performance from the lamb trade as we move towards the June bank holiday will not have learned from history.
Still, we should be grateful for small mercies, and farmers selling at roughly €6/kg are reasonably satisfied with the €120-129 price most lambs are returning, depending on price and carcass weights negotiated.
The Kepak plants take pride of place with an unchanged base quote of 590c/kg, plus the bonus. With its extra Quality Assured bonus on top of the normal top up, Kildare Chilling is offering a similar final figure to Kepak with its 585c/kg plus 6c/kg plus 5c/kg. Dawn Ballyhaunis is also offering this 585c/kg base, plus the 6c/kg, with Moyvalley on an all-in offer of 585c/kg. Both ICM plants are on 584c/kg plus 6c/kg.
Even though markets continue to be sluggish, factory sources are freely admitting that supplies of lamb remain tight, with adequate numbers proving difficult to secure. This is a point backed up by the IFA's sheep chairman James Murphy, who said that the small numbers on offer were resulting in factories paying €6/kg.
With the hoggets almost at an end, Kildare Chilling is the only plant offering a quote which is luke-warm enough at 450c/kg + 6c/kg + 5c/kg. Cull ewes are also under a bit of pressure.
Kepak Hacketstown has dropped its quote by 20c/kg but still shares top spot with Kildare at 280c/kg. Reductions elsewhere leaves the two ICMs on 270c/kg, with 260c/kg being offered by Dawn and Moyvalley.
The sheep trade eased further during the week, according to An Bord Bia, as the ongoing increase in spring-lamb supplies and a more sluggish market demand affected trade.
Quotes for spring lambs were generally in the €5.90-5.95/kg range, although more was reported to be available in some parts of the country. Despite cast ewe supplies remaining tight, the trade was hampered by stronger lamb supplies, with quotes typically falling by around 10c/kg to €2.80/kg.