Quotes steady themselves after a 10c/kg drop
Like the Limerick hurlers in the second half on Sunday, the lamb trade appears to have steadied again after a wobbly patch. Whether or not lamb prices will replicate the success of the Treaty men and push on to a winning position remains to be seen.
I do think – based on the solid information that 550c/kg was paid in the west yesterday – that the factories have the capability to increase returns to farmers. Following such an expensive spring, it is imperative that processors pass on the maximum price possible to the producers. The 550c/kg payment proves they can do that. Despite what they say about the trade or supplies, they are anxious for stock and have the room to increase prices.
I am aware of a few farmers who have parked loyalty for the moment and have enjoyed financial success by shopping around. Every 10c/kg in price is worth an extra €2/lamb and an extra 0.5kg in weight is worth an extra €2.60-2.70.
Compared to last Tuesday, quotes have fallen by 10c/kg. However, this drop took place on Tuesday and prices have more or less steadied since.
All of the plants are offering a base quote of 520c/kg. This leaves Kildare Chilling in first place, by virtue of its extra Quality Assurance bonus of 5c/kg and the normal 5c/kg top-up for U grades.
Dawn Ballyhaunis, Kepak Athleague and ICM Navan tie for the silver medal with their quote of 520c/kg plus the bonus. As you will see from the table, the same quote from Kepak Hacketstown was for yesterday only. ICM Camolin and Moyvalley Meats were not offering a bonus with their all-in quote of 520c/kg.
With the hogget supply almost at an end, only Kildare and Kepak Athleague are bothering to quote. Kildare is offering a base of 450c/kg plus the two 5c/kg bonuses and Kepak is on an all-in figure of 460c/kg.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said tight supplies of lambs had helped prices recover somewhat as factories struggled to secure adequate numbers at lower prices. He added that, with markets returning over 600c/kg, all factories had an opportunity to restore prices to a base of 550c/kg.