Quotes bouncing back despite strength of euro
It may be a far cry from the €2.3m that our TDs received in expenses, even though they were on their long summer break, but sheep farmers selling lambs at the moment will be glad to see that quotes have bounced back up this week despite the strengthening of the euro against sterling.
Factory sources are happy that supplies are adequate for the market conditions at the moment and some of them were anxious that I mention for farmers to keep an eye on weights as quite a few heavy lambs are being offered for slaughter.
If you have lambs that are overweight, well then undoubtedly the mart is the better choice as the trade continues to be very strong for the lambs up to and over 50kg.
Kepak is tops today for the base quotes with both its plants offering 425c/kg plus a 5c/kg bonus for the U grades. This reflects a jump of 5c/kg on last Tuesday. Kildare is showing the biggest increase with its base up 9c/kg to 419c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus as well as a further 5c/kg on offer for quality assured stock. Both ICM plants are on a base of 420c/kg plus 6c bonus.
Hard sellers with numbers, and especially some of the producer groups, are commanding much higher prices than the quotes, with prices of as high as 445c/kg being attained.
The IFA's James Murphy said that it was commonplace for factories to be paying from 435-440c/kg in order to secure adequate supplies and that strong promotions on the domestic market coupled with anticipated demand for the next Muslim festival were helping to drive on the trade. Quotes for the cull ewes have also improved, with half of the plants up by 10c/kg. Kildare is tops at 260c/kg. Both ICM plants and Kepak Hacketstown are offering 250c/kg. Kepak Athleague is quoting 240c/kg, while 200c/kg is to be got in Moyvalley.
Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade showed some improvement during the past week as ongoing tight supplies continue to help trade.
Quotes for lamb were making in the region of 425c/kg. Quotes for cull ewes stayed around 240c/kg.
On a year-to-date basis, supplies remain 14pc lower with lamb disposals down by 12pc, while cull ewe throughput is running 23pc lower.
In Britain, the recent weakening of the euro against the pound continues to make British lamb more competitive, as supplies remained steady. Towards the weekend, the average new season SQQ live mart price in England and Wales stood at the equivalent of 390c/kg including VAT.
In France, trade was sluggish despite more competitively priced British lamb appearing on the market.
Prices for Irish lamb remained under pressure.
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