Farm Ireland

Saturday 21 April 2018

Quotes for lamb get a roasting by plants

Joe Healy

LAMB quotes for the early part of this week are a bit like the Dublin footballers were for the last seven to 10 minutes last Sunday. Collapse would be exaggerating it but moving in the wrong direction all the same.

All the plants have pulled their quotes, most by 10-15c/kg but the drop in Moyvalley Meats is a huge 25c/kg that sees it go from top of the class last week to the bottom today with its all-in quote of 430c/kg. Both Kepaks and Dawn Ballyhaunis are also on a base of 430c/kg but are offering the bonus for the U grades. Kildare Chilling and the two ICM plants are quoting 435c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus with Kildare offering a further 5c/kg for the quality-assured lambs. ICM Camolin's quote was for yesterday.

The reasons for the reduction, according to a number of the factory sources, include a sluggish trade in France and increased supplies of British lamb coming onto the market.

Having said that, IFA's James Murphy said the schools reopening in France normally gives a little boost to the demand for lamb and this should also be helped with Ramadan in the final week of its festivities. He added that the home trade remained strong and encouraged farmers to make sure they were getting their quality-assured bonus payment where possible.

Some farmers, anxious to sell the last of their lambs, are being tempted to load them all up, even if a few are not properly fleshed. After holding them for this long, it would pay to feed those on for another while and maximise their worth. If you are selling fit stock at the moment it is imperative that you bargain hard on price and carcase weight.


The cull ewe trade is steady enough in a range of 250c/kg back down to 220c/kg. Dawn continues to be at the lower end while Kildare and Kepak Hacketstown remain at the 250c/kg. The rest, apart from Moyvalley which is not quoting for ewes, are offering 240c/kg.

Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade was unchanged for most of the past week, as continuing tight supplies offset any decline in demand.

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Base quotes for lambs were steady this week at 450c/kg but prices in excess of this were widely available. Quotes for cull ewes were in the range of 240c/kg, with more reportedly available.

Weekly sheep supplies for the week ending August 14 were up 6,500hd on the previous week at 57,500hd. However, compared with the corresponding week last year, supplies are back by 7,100hd. The majority of this decline occurred in the cast ewe category, where supplies were back by 4,600hd. Lamb supplies for the latest week were running 2,500hd below the same week last year at 50,100. In Britain, increased supplies led to a weaker live market trade with exchange-rate movements remaining largely unchanged. The average new season SQQ price in England and Wales at the beginning of the week was making around 445c/kg including VAT, before coming under some pressure as the week progressed.

In France, quotes for Grade 1 Irish spring lamb delivered to Paris for most of the week were generally making 465c/kg including VAT, before easing back slightly by the end of the week. Demand is expected to pick up again in the forthcoming weeks, as schools and workplaces return to normal activity following the holiday period.

Irish Independent