Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Price of lambs shoots up 20c/kg in just seven days


Joe Healy

The final margin between City and United in the Manchester derby on Sunday is probably only bettered by the massive difference between the lamb quotes today when compared to this day last week.

The five-goal margin pales into insignificance when compared to the 10-20c/kg improvement to the quotes for lambs over the past week.

It is important to point out that as well as this jump to the quotes, factories are extremely anxious to tie down deals and are willing to pay well above the quotes to do so.

Some large finishers and producer groups have secured prices of up to 490c/kg with reports of an odd finisher holding out for and getting a little more with others refusing to budge south of €5/kg.

The biggest increase comes from Moyvalley where a 20c/kg increase leaves them on an all-in quote of 475c/kg. You have to go back to the end of July since any plant was quoting higher than this figure, which incidentally was Moyvalley also.

Elsewhere, the rest of the plants have upped their figure by 10c/kg to leave them all singing off the same hymn sheet on a base of 460c/kg plus the bonus. Kildare, I suppose are slightly ahead by virtue of their extra 5c/kg quality assurance bonus.

With supplies remaining tight, farmers are also bargaining to get paid on carcass weights up to 23kg as opposed to the 22.5kg that will be paid on if you don't bargain to increase it. Remember that at current prices this extra half kg is worth between €2.40-2.50/lamb or 10-11c/kg. The weight appears to be there as it is because a few factory men were highlighting the fact that quite a few over-weight lambs are being offered for slaughter at the moment.

IFA's James Murphy said that strong demand continued to drive lamb prices with certain factories paying 490-495c/kg to get stock. Cull ewe quotes have also moved upwards by 5-10c/kg. The ICM plants and Kepak Hacketstown have now joined Kildare Chilling on a 270c/kg quote. Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 265c/kg, while 250c/kg is being quoted by Kepak Athleague.

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The sheep trade firmed slightly over the past week, according to Bord Bia as British volumes slowed somewhat.

Demand across key export markets showed further strengthening. Quotes for lambs strengthened to around €4.60/kg by the end of the week. The cull trade also strengthened on the back of supplies tightening and demand firming for manufacturing product, with quotes running at between €2.70-2.80/kg.

Sheep supplies to date are running more than 1pc higher than the corresponding period last year. In Britain, the trade continues to improve, reflecting some ongoing recovery in demand on the French market.

By the weekend, live market prices were unchanged at the equivalent of €4.76/kg including VAT for lambs.

In France, prices for limited volumes of Irish grade 1 lamb were reportedly making up to €4.84/kg inclusive of VAT by the end of the week, as demand picks up in the run up to the Eid al-Adha festival.

Indo Farming