Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Relief as spring lamb quoted €7/kg

Joe Healy

The €7/kg that Moyvalley are quoting for the limited numbers of new season lambs being offered is as welcome to early lamb producers as last Friday night's soccer result in Stockholm was to Giovanni Trapattoni.

Only three of the other plants are quoting and each of them, namely the ICMs and Kepak Athleague, are offering 620c/kg.

On the hogget front, Moyvalley again set the pace with an all-in quote of 550c/kg. This 30c/kg increase since last week leaves them 25-30c/kg ahead of the field.

Dawn's all-in quote is 524c/kg. The rest, apart from Kepak Hacketstown, are offering a base of 520c/kg plus the bonus. As per usual, Kildare Chilling have the extra 5c/kg bonus for quality assured lambs. Kepak Hacketstown remain on 515c/kg plus the bonus.

The IFA's sheep chairman, James Murphy, said that the hoggets were steady, with 550c/kg paid to 24kgs to secure numbers from a tight supply.

The cull ewe trade is a bit sluggish, with a 10c/kg drop across most of the plants. The ICMs and Kepak Athleague are tops at 240c/kg. Kildare and Kepak Hacketstown are quoting 230c/kg, while 225c/kg is on offer from Dawn Ballyhaunis.

The trade in Britain eased during the past week reflecting some increase in availability of supplies. By the weekend, lambs at live markets across England and Wales were making around €5.20/kg deadweight.

Meanwhile, An Bord Bia recently commissioned consumer research in Belgium to measure consumers' perception of lamb and their awareness and propensity to buy Irish lamb. According to the results, 43pc of meat-consuming households in Belgium eat lamb at least once per year, with higher penetration in the southern French-speaking part of the country where 50pc of households consume lamb at least once per year, while 27pc admitted purchasing less lamb than a year previously, compared to 17pc for beef.

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The trade for the good spring lamb was extremely hot yesterday morning with butchers extremely keen. The top price at Athenry Mart was €162 for a pen of Suffolk-cross lambs weighing 46kg. This reflected a price of €116 over the €1/kg or €3.52/kg. A number of lots made over €100 with their weight, selling between €130 and €162.

Down in Fermoy, the nice new season lamb was generally making €95-105 over the €1/kg, with prices running between €120 and €150.

The top price for young lambs in Kilkenny was €145 for 44kg. Most of the spring lambs sold when I contacted them had made between €127 and €145. The heavy hoggets over 50kg were making €67-77 with their weight. The 40-50kg hoggets ranged from €45 to €66 over.

Larger numbers of sheep on offer to the previous week and good demand for butcher and factory hoggets was the report from Mountbellew Mart. Demand for ewes with lambs at foot was also improved. Trade for the cull ewes was a tad easier, with prices ranging from €55 to €80. A limited selection of new season lambs sold from €98 for 37kg up to €134 for 46kg. Good well-fleshed hoggets made up to €75 with the weight when a pen of 28 wethers weighing 51kg sold for €126. Store hoggets ranged in price from €70 to €92. Second and third crop ewes with lambs at foot made €112-160.

Carnew had 2,300 sheep on offer, with strong demand for butcher and factory hoggets but light stores were slightly easier trade. The hoggets fit for slaughter sold for prices of €110-128. The better stores made up to €105, while lighter types sold back to €62.Ewes with lambs at foot were making €120-203, with ewes in-lamb making €100-140.

Dowra Mart had a smaller entry of sheep on Saturday last. Trade was up again from the previous week. The good hoggets made €85-120. Stores moved at €55-80 each. Ewes with a single lamb at foot made €90-160. Ewes with twins sold for €160-225. Heavy cull ewes made €70-105. Ewes for feeding ranged from €40 to €70 each.

Trade was steady in Enniscorthy. Butcher and factory lamb prices ranged from €102 to €128 or €60-72 over the €1/kg. Stores made from €65 to €88/hd or €45-65 with the weight. Breeding ewes with twin lambs at foot sold for €160-210. Ewes with singles made €135-170/unit. Heavy cull ewes were selling for €95-120. The lighter types made €42-77 each. Heavy rams hit a tops of €140.

Cull ewes made up to €123 at Tuam Mart. In-lamb ewes made a top of €164. Quality factory and butcher lambs ranged from €2.20 to €2.50/kg.

Irish Independent