Quotes rise to new five-week high
Presidential hopeful Sean Gallagher might have started off as a small farmer but good news from the most recent polls sees him as front runner to be our next head of state. Sheep farmers also received a boost over the past week as quotes and prices rose back up to levels that they haven't been at for the past five weeks.
There are several reasons for this increase, including a notable tightening of supplies both here and in the UK, as well as increased activity among live exporters as they stock up for the upcoming Muslim festival, which begins on November 7. The French market for lamb has also improved.
Quotes from the processors have risen by 5-10c/kg since this day last week. Kildare Chilling is setting the pace with its base of 450c/kg being topped up by the 6c/kg and the 5c/kg bonuses for quality assured U grades, reflecting an improvement of 10c/kg. This increase is matched by the Kepak plants, ICM plants and Dawn Ballyhaunis, who are all quoting 450c/kg plus the bonus. Moyvalley's all-in quote has increased by 5c/kg to 455c/kg.
Despite this rise in quotes, factories are still having to pay well in excess of those figures to secure adequate supplies.
Farmers are successfully bargaining for 470-475c/kg and there are some reports of even more being paid, with finishers negotiating 470c/kg to 22.5kg or 475c/kg to 23kg. Either way, you are talking about a price of €107-108/lamb.
A few of the factory agents were anxious to point out that farmers should try to kill their lambs at a carcass weight of 22kg because of the difficulty in moving heavier lambs.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said farmers needed to bargain in order to maximise the value of their lambs. He added that factories were willing to pay up to 475c/kg to get stock from limited supplies.