Line in sand drawn as prices plummet
The lamb quotes have been hit almost as hard as the Donegal footballers at the weekend. While the men from the northwest couldn't find an inch of space in their battle with Monaghan, the lamb processors seem to have no shortage of room – as long as the trajectory is downward.
Quotes were back by 20-25c/kg on this day week. As if that's not bad enough, many of them are also of the mindset that prices will pretty quickly fall through the "line in the sand" mark of €5/kg.
If this happens as we approach the breeding season it would send out extremely bad vibes and kill any enthusiasm among farmers at a very critical time of their calendar. A 25c/kg drop on 21.5kg equates to a cut of €5.37/lamb.
As you will see from the table, despite pulling their base quotes by 20c/kg, Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley are still setting the pace, with the former offering 500c/kg plus the two 5c/kg bonuses for U grades and Kepak Athleague were not quoting when contacted yesterday morning and Hacketstown's quote of 500c/kg plus 5c/kg was for yesterday only. It was a similar story from ICM Navan.
Elsewhere, Dawn Ballyhaunis and ICM Camolin were offering a base of 500c/kg plus the bonus for today.
As I have often said before and especially at this time of this time of the year, if lambs are going into heavier weights then the mart is a better option. Commenting on the trade, the IFA's James Murphy said that farmers are strongly resisting factory price pressure on lambs and holding out for 510-520c/kg to 21.5kg.
Quotes for the cull ewes range between 190c/kg and 200c/kg. The ICMs and Kildare Chilling remain on the €2/kg, while 190c/kg is being offered in Dawn and Hacketstown.
Trade in Britain weakened throughout the week in response to some increase in supplies and weaker demand in France.