If, as they say that no news is good news then the news must be good from the sheep trade at the moment.
As for the lamb quotes there is little or no change from last week. All the main players are offering a base figure of 430c/kg for today with Kildare back in the saddle and joining the rest at the 430c/kg mark.
They continue to pay the two 5c/kg bonuses for Quality Assured and U grade lambs. Both ICM plants are offering a 10c/kg bonus on QA lambs with Kepak Athleague's 6c/kg top-up also for the QA stock.
The Dawn Ballyhaunis extra 6c/kg is paid for U grade lambs. Moyvalley remain on a tops of 450c/kg all-in. From all accounts, the factories are playing it safe with these quotes as 450-460c/kg appears to be pretty freely available and to 22kg carcase weight.
Farmers need to ask and bargain for maximum weights. If you don't, then you are more than likely to get paid to 21.5kg. The extra half kg is worth between €2.20-2.30/lamb. Reports suggest that deals of up to 465c/kg have been negotiated
The ICM are on 250c/kg for the cull ewes. Kildare have dropped their base by 10c/kg to 240c/kg, but retain the 10c/kg for QA ewes. Kepak Athleague are also offering 240c/kg while a 10c/kg drop in Dawn leaves them looking up at the rest with their 230c/kg.
In Britain, the SQQ live price for new season lambs was making the equivalent of around €4.64/kg incl VAT dw. Demand in France was helped marginally by the return to work and the re-opening of schoowls.The Irish Grade 1 Spring lamb price was making around €4.78/kg (inclusive of VAT).
Yesterdays sales in Athenry, Fermoy and Kilkenny were steady.
The heavy lambs in Fermoy sold for €44-53 over the weight. Lighter lambs made from €35-45 over. Prices for cull ewes ranged from €72-109.
In Kilkenny, the butcher lambs were selling for €92-109/hd or €41-56 with the €/kg. Factory lots sold for €80-100 or €37-52 over their weight. Store prices varied from €60-80 while cull ewes made from50-104.
The heavier lambs in Athenry made from €44-52 with their weight. Cull ewes sold for €84-110. The heavy lambs in Enniscorthy sold for €95-100/hd or €43-50 over the weight. In the breeding section, the ewe hoggets sold for €150-188. Older ewes made from €100-137. The Texel ram sale saw prices range from €300-500. Factory lambs in Dowra made from €80-94 each while the better quality ewe lambs made from €85-106. Store lambs made from €40-80. Sheep sales move to Fridays at 11.30 am, beginning this week
Black face ewes ranged from €38-75 in Maam Cross while the hoggets made up to €156. Baltinglass reported a good trade for breeding ewes and store lambs with the latter selling for €65-86. Hogget ewes were selling for €120-150 while older breeding ewes sold for €90-115. Culls made from €60-93.
Ewe lambs sold to a tops of €129 for 54kg in Mountbellew. Ewe hoggets made from €145-191 while the older ewes made from €90-171. Carnew had 3,800 on offer.
Prices for ewe lambs ranged from €75-122, ewe hoggets from €140-180, aged ewes from €100-150 and cull ewes from €55-119. Breeding rams varied from €150-480.