Hurricane Fly was the talk of the day at Leopardstown on Sunday for having six-and-a-half lengths to spare over Oscars Well in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
This gap pales in comparison to the 10-15c/kg gap that the lamb quotes have opened up throughout the past week.
Quotes seven days ago were 510-525c/kg, whereas today all the plants are offering 520-535c/kg.
The biggest increase has taken place in Moyvalley, where a jump of 15c/kg moves them up to an all-in quote of 535c/kg.
Elsewhere, a rise of 10c/kg from the ICMs, Kepak Hacketstown and Dawn Ballyhaunis sees them all move up to match Kepak Athleague, where there was no movement at a base of 520c/kg plus the bonus. Kildare Chilling have also improved by 10c/kg. This also leaves them at 520c/kg, but their double bonus of 6c/kg for U grades and 5c/kg for quality assured stock puts them in second place at up to 531c/kg for top quality qualifying lambs.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that continuing tight supplies are helping to drive the trade forward, with factories paying 535-545c/kg to secure adequate supplies. It is vital that you bargain hard to maximise the value of your lambs through a combination of weight and price before you sell.
There are significant differences between the prices farmers are getting for similar type stock. For example, if you are one of the lads that has negotiated a price at the higher end of 545c/kg on 23.5kg, you are receiving a gross price of €128.08/lamb. Whereas if you accept a quote at the lower end of 520c/kg plus the bonus, you are selling at a maximum of 526c/kg for 23.5kg, leaving you with a gross price of €123.60. This equates to a loss of €4.48/lamb.
The ewe trade remains strong, with Kildare upping their quote by 10c/kg to 320c/kg.
Both ICM plants and Dawn are on 300c/kg. Kepak Hacketstown and Kepak Athleague are offering quotes of 290c/kg and 280c/kg respectively.
Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade improved last week as tight sheep supplies, combined with solid demand, on the home market had a positive effect.
Quotes for lambs by the end of the week were up to €5.30/kg as supplies were not sufficient to match demand levels.
Similarly, the cull ewe trade firmed with quotes making up to €3/kg, reflecting strong demand for mutton from value-conscious consumers.