Live exporters lift trade
The sheep trade has a much more positive air about it this week as factory prices stabilise and buying for the live export market has kicked off.
Nonetheless, farmers, especially those in producer groups, remain quite annoyed with the factories for the low level of quotes. This makes it difficult for producer groups to achieve acceptable prices, with individual farmers negotiating higher final prices than what groups are getting.
Thankfully, the live export trade has created a bit of competition in the past week and there is widespread speculation that there may be a second live exporter anxious to get involved in shipping lambs. The TLT group is currently paying €60-65 over the weight for ram lambs weighing 38-48kg.
Factory quotes everywhere are at a base of 520c/kg. This leaves Kildare Chilling at the top of the league by virtue of its extra quality assured bonus. Its neighbour, Moyvalley, is at the bottom as its 520c/kg is an all-inclusive figure.
Farmers are quite anxious to see all plants increase carcass weights up to 21.5kg, as is the case in Britain presently. This extra 0.5kg is worth 265-275c per lamb at current prices and there seems very little reason why it can't happen.
Farmers need to shop around and bargain hard on both price and weight as there are a few getting paid to 21.5kg.
Commenting on the trade, IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said lamb prices were solid, with prices of 440-450c/kg being paid by the factories to secure adequate numbers.
Kildare has increased its cull ewe quote to 200c/kg. The rest, apart from Moyvalley, are quoting 190c/kg. Prices of up to 220c/kg are being paid.