Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

Plants stubbornly keep quotes around 440c/kg


Joe Healy

If, as they say, no news is good news, then the following can be taken as a positive report because there is no change from anywhere on the lamb quotes and just a few minor alterations to the quotes for the cull ewes.

But nothing is ever as it seems and it goes without saying that farmers are disappointed with the current quotes. This is especially so with finishers who bought store lambs earlier on and are now back out selling. If they were accepting the quotes, they would be undoubtedly losing money. Luckily, the plants are willing to pay well in excess of those figures, with 355-360c/kg being successfully bargained for.

Moyvalley's all-in quote of 450c/kg keeps them at the top of the table again this week, with Kildare's extra quality assurance bonus ensuring that they are more or less sharing that same space with their near neighbours. Thereafter, all of the other plants continue to quote a base of 440c/kg plus the bonus. The best factories were willing to say was that it shouldn't deteriorate any further as the week progresses.

Commenting on the trade, the IFA's James Murphy said that prices are varying from €4.55 to €4.65/kg, with the better finishers digging in for the upper end of the price.

Sellers need to try and get a minimum price of 455c/kg up to 22kg to return a price of €100 minimum. An extra 0.5-1kg carcass would make a huge difference to the final returns.

The two ICM plants and Kepak Hacketstown are offering 260c/kg for the cull ewes. Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague continue to quote 250c/kg. Moyvalley and Kildare are not quoting at the moment.

An Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade eased slightly during the week, reflecting sluggish demand on the key export markets. However, the Irish market remains solid, with the latest Kantar figures showing a 7pc increase in sales for the month ending September 4.

Quotes for spring lambs for most of the week were around €4.45kg. The cull trade eased slightly, with prices typically making €2.50-2.65/kg.

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On a year-to-date basis, sheep supplies are running 2pc higher than the same time last year.

In Britain, the trade improved in response to lower volumes of lamb emerging onto the market combined with some favourable exchange rate movement. By the weekend, the livemarket prices increased by around 10/c to €4.52/kg including VAT for new season lambs.

In France, supplies from Britain remain strong and demand remains weak for imports. Prices for limited volumes of Irish grade 1 spring lamb were reportedly up to €4.68/kg by the end of the week.

Indo Farming