Lift in quotes gives trade a welcome autumn boost
A survey carried out in the US a number of years ago showed that if people had a good experience they told three people. If it was a bad experience, they told 11. Well, if visitors numbers to the Farming Independent stand at the ploughing were anything to go by, the results from this study were actually underestimating the difference.
We probably had a ratio of 1:10 sheep and beef farmers in. Every sheep producer we met and spoke to was quite satisfied with the past 12 months and just seemed to have a renewed enthusiasm and optimism for the sector facing the future. It was great to see it.
Quotes for the early part of this week will add to their hope levels as a 5-10c/kg increase is evident in most of the plants. A jump of 10c/kg to the base figure in Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis brings both of the Western processors up to join an unchanged Kepak Hacketstown at the top. Kildare Chilling remain on a base of 415c/kg plus the bonus for the U grades as well as their further bonus of 5c/kg for the quality-assured lambs. Moyvalley's all-in quote of 420c/kg reflects an increase of 10c/kg also. The two ICM plants are up by 5c/kg to 415c/kg plus the 6c/kg for the better stock. Commenting on the trade, IFA's James Murphy said that factories were paying up to 440c/kg to 22.5kg carcass yesterday and today in order to secure numbers.
Farmers need to take note of those figures in order to maximise the value of their lambs. I have often said that, you only sell your animal once. The difference between what the hard seller is getting and what the man is prepared to take by just dropping his lambs in and taking whatever is being quoted can be as much as 20c/kg at the moment.
Put this over a 22.5kg carcass and the loss equates to €4.50/lamb. This is what is happening and not just fancy fictional figures.
Quotes for cull ewes range from a high of 250c/kg in Kildare down to the 220c/kg on offer from Dawn Ballyhaunis. Kepak Hacketstown and the ICMs are on 240c/kg, while neither Kepak Athleague or Moyvalley were quoting when spoken to yesterday.
The sheep trade remained steady last week, according to Bord Bia, with demand currently being matched by ongoing lower supplies. Base quotes for lambs were making in the region of 425 c/kg by the end of the week. Quotes for cull ewes were in the range of 240c/kg, with more reportedly available.
Supplies to September 18 were running 14pc lower compared to last year's levels at 1.48m head.