Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Only bonuses separate plants as lamb quotes keep steady at 520c/kg

Sheep farmers chatting at the Kiernan Milling Stewarts Sheep Discussion on 'Producing Profitable Sheep' which took place at the Granard, Co Longford plant this week. Photo: Lorraine Teevan.
Sheep farmers chatting at the Kiernan Milling Stewarts Sheep Discussion on 'Producing Profitable Sheep' which took place at the Granard, Co Longford plant this week. Photo: Lorraine Teevan.

There wasn't much separating the Patriots and the Seahawks in Sunday night's Super Bowl final, but there is even less separating the quotes from the lamb plants as they all retain the figures they were offering this time last week.

With the four main players offering an unchanged base quote of 520c/kg, it is only when the bonuses are taken into consideration that we see any difference. The two ICM plants are paying a 10c/kg top-up for quality assured (QA) lambs, while Kildare Chilling are on a 5c/kg QA plus a 5c/kg bonus for lambs grading U. The 6c/kg from Kepak Athleague is paid for QA lambs. Moyvalley have increased their all-in quote by 10c/kg to 530c/kg.

It is probably the first week since early November that none of the four bigger outfits have shown any increase to the quotes. Regardless of what the quotes are, the prices being paid range from 540-560c/kg, with very large sellers securing the higher amount.

In the main farmers are selling at 540-555c/kg. At 550c/kg a 23kg carcase is making a gross price of €126.50. Be careful with your heavier lambs that have the potential to kill out in excess of 23kg. You will get nothing extra from the factory for anything above this weight but, as you will see from the mart reports, many of them mentioned prices higher than this figure for heavy lambs.

The quotes for the cull ewes also remain unchanged. Kildare continue to pay a 10c/kg QA bonus on top of their 320c/kg base quote. The ICMs are also quoting a base of 320c/kg, while Kepak are on 310c/kg. In general the actual buying price can vary from 330-350c/kg.

Sheep marts

The sheep trade was described as buoyant at Dowra Mart last Saturday especially for stock with flesh. Factory lambs made from €95-130, while the best of the stores made from €75-95. Lighter stores were making from €55-75. Heavy cull ewes made from €90-145, while ewes for feeding sold for €55-85/hd. In-lamb ewes made from €120-180.

Lambs were a steady trade in Mountbellew, with especially good demand for ewe lambs and heavier fleshed lambs. The best pen of ewe lambs weighed 53kg and sold for €122. Wether lambs weighing 51kg made €119 or €68 with the weight. Cull ewes ranged from €80-136. Prices for ewes with lambs and in-lamb ranged from €160-290.

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Carnew had a big sale with 2,850hd on offer. A solid trade saw heavy lambs over 50kg sell to a top price of €130. The 45-50kg lambs made from €115-126. Lighter types moved at €79-112. Fit cull ewes were making from €130-152, while lighter lots made from €65-120. In-lamb ewes sold for €120-195.

The trade was improved across the board in Baltinglass for the 1,200 sheep on offer. Lambs between 50-60kg made from €118-137. The 45-50kg lots sold for €107-122, while lighter lots made up to €105. Ewe lambs topped out at €135. Cull ewes made from €70-132. Ewes scanned in lambs made up to €185.

Butcher and factory lambs made from €117-131, or €66-81 over the €/kg in New Ross. Stores ranged from €90-110, or €50-66 over. Cull ewes fit for slaughter were selling for €140-172, with the lighter lots and ewes for further feeding making from €85-134.

Fleshed lambs at Mayo/Sligo Mart made from €2.40-2.60/kg, or up to €77 over the weight when a pen of 10 weighing 48kg sold for €125. Lighter lambs made from €2.50/kg up to €2.75/kg, or €70 with the weight.

Blackface mountain ewes were selling for €73-92 at Maam Cross Mart. The mountainy ewe lambs made from €48-80, while cross-bred lambs moved at €63-107. Blackface wether lambs sold for €48-78/hd.

Sheep numbers were steady in Ennis and they were an excellent trade with lambs making up to €138 or €2.54/kg.

Indo Farming