Moyvalley striding into 2014 at 485c/kg
In keeping with the GAA, sheep farmers are showing the black card to factories trying to buy lambs at the quoted price this week, and rightly so in my opinion.
It has been tough to hold on to and feed lambs since early December and right through the Christmas. In fairness to the processors they are pretty willing to pay well in excess of what they are quoting with anything between 20-30c/kg above the base being successfully negotiated.
Apart from Moyvalley, there has only been slight positive movement. The all-in quote from Moyvalley of 485c/kg represents a rise of 15c/kg compared to their quote before Christmas.
The only other plants to move are the two Kepak's who have increased their base by 5c/kg to 465c/kg plus the bonus of 5c/kg for the U grades. Hacketstown's quote was for yesterday only. Kildare remain on a base of 460c/kg but continue to offer the 5c/kg quality assurance bonus on top of the U grade bonus. Elsewhere, both ICM plants and Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 460c/kg plus 6c/kg.
While hard sellers were holding out for and getting up to €5/kg immediately after the Christmas, prices of 490c/kg seem to be the tops this week in most places.
It was mentioned to me that most of the stock being offered are well-fleshed and suitable for slaughter, but that some farmers can get anxious to just clear out stock at this time of year.
This can lead to some under-finished lambs being offered for slaughter. The lambs in question are heavily penalised and leaves a situation that is no good for either the farmer or the factory.
No matter what, if you are going to the factory make sure your lambs are fit to kill. If not, then go to the mart.