Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Quotes increase 10c/kg but more can be found

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Sheep quotes have risen 10c/kg since last week, a major boost for the second week after Easter.

All processors have added at least 10c to their quotes so, wherever you enquire, base quotes range from 650-660c/kg plus the bonus.

Kildare Chilling is top of the pile with 660c/kg plus 6c/kg plus 5c/kg. The rest are on 650c/kg plus the bonus, apart from Moyvalley, whose quote is an all-in figure.

However, sellers must remember that these are only quotes and much more is actually being paid -- there are reports suggesting that 670-680c/kg is freely available.

There are also strong suggestions that 680c/kg was paid by one processor up to 21.5kg, while €7/kg was also reportedly paid in one or two areas.

What farmers now need is to watch for the opportunity to move lambs at slightly lighter weights while those strong prices are available. This practice could also help to extend the period for high prices, as it would keep lamb supplies in the farmers' favour as the year moves on.

Kildare Chilling is top of the pile for hogget quotes with its base of 590c/kg plus 6c/kg plus 5c/kg.

Elsewhere, increases of 10-20c/kg see Kepak Hacketstown on 570c/kg plus 5c/kg and the rest on quotes of 580c/kg plus the bonus.

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Supplies of hoggets are continuing to dwindle and the quality of hoggets on offer is becoming very mixed.

Commenting on the trade, IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said farmers needed to ensure they maximised the value of their stock by bargaining hard on price and carcass weight.


Kepak Hacketstown leads the way for the cull ewe quotes at 310c/kg. The ICM plants, Kildare and Dawn Ballyhaunis are quoting an unchanged 300c/kg.

Meanwhile, Bord Bia reported a continued firm trade last week in Britain, with the hogget trade improved slightly as demand increased in the run up to the May bank holiday.

Live market prices increased by 5c to the equivalent of €5.85/kg deadweight including VAT by the weekend. Despite higher supplies of spring lamb, prices increased by 5c to €6.75/kg by the weekend.

In France, promotional activity helped to maintain demand for sheep meat. This, combined with tight supplies of Irish and British product, helped improve Irish grade one spring lamb prices to €6.94-7.04/kg inclusive of VAT.

Meanwhile, the mart trade has remained just as strong after Easter, with good quality new season lambs selling for up to €113 over the weight this week.

Prices in excess of €100 over appeared to be freely available for any well-fleshed lambs. In the breeding stock, young ewes with twin lambs at foot made up to €300/unit, while heavy cull ewes hit a high of €180 each.

The top price at Athenry Mart yesterday was €156 for a pen of 50kg lambs, but the general run of prices for quality 40-50kg lambs was €90-100 over the weight. Good cull ewes sold up to a top price of €150, which was paid for a pen of 10 heavy culls.

In the south, lambs sold for €93-103 over the weight at Fermoy Mart.

Baltinglass Mart had a solid trade for lambs and ewes with twin lambs at foot. Ewes with a pair of lambs made €220-270/unit. Ewes with singles sold for €130-175/unit. Prices for the cull ewes ranged from €90-120/hd.

Heavy butcher-type 45-50kg lambs sold for €125-135/hd. Factory lambs from 40-45kg sold for €90-120/hd, while lighter lots of 35-40kg made €70-84 each.

Hoggets at Maam Cross made €80-120hd, while spring lambs sold for up to €125/hd and ewes with lambs at foot made €105-230/unit.

Numbers were up at Mountbellew, where all categories of sheep met an extremely brisk trade. Prices for heavy lots of cull ewes rose by €10-20/hd, as some lots sold for €140-180/hd. The rest made €82-140.

Spring lamb prices hit a top price of €113 over the weight when seven 47kg lambs made €160.50 each, but the general run was €90-100 over.

Hoggets sold for €50-70 over the €1/kg, while some ewe hoggets made up to €90 over.

Indo Farming