Farm Ireland

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Lamb quotes jump forward by 30c/kg

Joe Healy

Sheep farmers and Ronan O'Gara are experiencing very different emotions this week. As quickly as the year appears to be going pear-shaped for ROG, it is improving for men selling last year's lamb crop, with lamb quotes improving by up to 30c/kg over the past week.

"Go west young man" is also appropriate, as the plants in Athleague and Ballyhaunis are more or less leading the way. Each of them is up by 30c/kg, leaving the Kepak plant on a base of 480c/kg plus the bonus, while Dawn is offering an all-in quote of 484c/kg for quality assured (QA) stock.

The Moyvalley quote is up to an all-in 480c/kg. Kepak Hacketstown has upped its quote by 25c/kg to 475c/kg plus 5c/kg. A 20c/kg rise moves Kildare Chilling up to 470c/kg plus the two 5c/kg bonuses for the QA and U grades.

Both ICM plants are quoting a base of 470c/kg plus 6c/kg. Farmers are ignoring the quotes, however, and bargaining successfully for prices well above what the factories are offering.

Up to 510c/kg was paid late last week andthere were many sellers talking about the even money.

IFA's James Murphy said that strong competition between wholesalers and the factories was continuing to drive the trade, with prices of €5/kg commonplace to 23kg. The cull ewe trade is firm with slight improvement to a few of the quotes. Kildare is tops on 250c/kg, Kepak Hacketstown and Dawn Ballyhaunis are on 245c/kg, with the two ICMs quoting 240c/kg.

The trade in Britain improved further throughout the past week, according to Bord Bia.

In France, trade remained stable, helped by steady domestic demand, despite more Lacaune lamb emerging on to the market. The Irish Grade 1 lamb price made around €4.40/kg for the majority of the week.

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All the marts were reporting a significantly improved trade last week with prices up by anything between €3-8/hd.

The welL-fleshed lamb over 50kg was making from €60 to €70 over the €1/kg. Plainer fleshy types sold for €54-60 over. Stores were selling for €45-60 with the weight and making up to €90/hd.

The heaviest of the cull ewes made €100-120. Ewes with lambs at foot hit a high of €200.

If you have well fed fleshy lambs around or over 50kg to sell then go to the mart as the weight limit in the factories could result in you losing out on a substantial amount of money that wholesalers are very willing to pay.

At Athenry Mart yesterday quite a few pens of quality lambs made €64-70 with their weight, with 51kg selling for €121.The 40-50kg lambs sold for €44-64 over the weight in the main. The sheep trade was improved again at Dowra Mart last Saturday with the best of the lambs making €70-100. Stores sold for €45-70 each. Heavy cull ewes made from €65 to €95. Ewes for feeding were making €35-65 each. Young fit in-lamb ewe prices ran from €120 to €165. Mountbellew Mart had a very large number of sheep on offer and reported a much improved trade for all lots on offer.

Fleshy lambs met with strong demand, with prices up by €5-8 on previous week. Lambs sold for €55-68 with the €1/kg, with lighter types making €44-56 over.

Carnew had 1,600 sheep at their sale. Prices were up by €5-7/hd. Baltinglass Mart also reported an improved trade with prices up €3-5/ hd.

Over in Maam Cross, the Black face ewes were selling for €30-75. The culls sold for €22-40. Blackface ewe lambs made from €68 to €100/hd.

Cull ewes topped out at €112 at Tuam Mart. In-lamb ewes sold to €190.

Irish Independent