| 18°C Dublin

Sheep trade remains buoyant with supplies edging ahead of 2010 figure

Thankfully, sheep prices are ensuring that farmers are having more success at raising money than the Irish Labour Party are enjoying in their attempts to fundraise in the USA.

Seemingly, the disciples of James Connolly netted a mere €100 over the past nine months from their efforts Stateside.

Lamb quotes in the main have remained firm with just one plant showing an increase from this day last week. Significant improvements in British lamb prices recently are helping the situation here, with very few lambs now being bought at less than €5/kg.

Moyvalley Meats retain top spot with their all-in quote of 500c/kg. The aforementioned increase brings the base quote from Kildare Chilling up to 484c/kg plus their 6c/kg and 5c/kg bonuses.

Both Kepaks remain on 485c/kg plus the bonus, while Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICM plants are quoting 480c/kg plus 6c/kg.

The difference between this lower quote and the top price that I was hearing of yesterday morning was as much as 34c/kg, as factories were doing deals at between 510-520c/kg.

On a 23kg carcase this difference equates to €8/lamb. That could be what you are losing out by if you are a soft seller and accept whatever price is offered.

One or two plants are quoting for the lighter types at the same level as the base for the heavier lambs.

IFA's James Murphy said that prices have moved on with farmers successfully holding out for and getting up to 520c/kg.

He added that with less British lamb on the French market due to the very strong domestic trade there at the moment, Irish returns from France had risen to a range of 547-557c/kg including VAT, and there was still scope for further upward movement.

Kildare have upped their ewe quote by 5c/kg to move further ahead on 285c/kg. Kepak Hacketstown stay on 275c/kg, with 270c/kg being quoted by the ICM plants.

As with the lambs, the plants are freely paying well in excess of what they are quoting for the ewes, with 300-330c/kg frequently paid and an odd report suggesting even a little more at times.

An Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade had shown little change last week, with demand in domestic and export markets steady.

Quotes for lambs for much of the week averaged €4.85-4.90/kg. The cull ewe trade remained unchanged with quotes making up to €2.80/kg as good manufacturing demand helped to maintain trade. Sheep supplies to date are running marginally ahead of corresponding 2010 levels.

In Britain, trade continued to be driven by a lack of supply. By the weekend, live market prices across Britain were the equivalent of €5.48/kg for lambs.

In France, trade has picked up in advance of Christmas, with Irish grade 1 lamb reported to be making €5.47-5.57/kg including VAT by the end of the week.

Farming Newsletter

Get the latest farming news and advice every Tuesday and Thursday.

This field is required

Most Watched