Factories: Good news for sheep farmers as prices rise by up to 10c/kg
I reckon you need a master's degree in marketing to understand what factory procurement officers are telling you about the retail sheep meat market.
While all factories lifted their quotes yesterday morning on the back of reducing numbers, speaking with some of those tasked with passing on the message, you would think the whole job was going backwards.
They've decided, at last, to give a bit more to the primary producer, but why make it sound as if it's the Irish farmers' fault that the retail market is "very difficult" abroad?
All of that aside, it's a tale this week of good news overall with lamb prices up by 5-10c/kg and cull ewes better in some plants by 10c/kg. Trade at the marts last week also pushed on well, helped by reduced numbers and factory demand.
The big movers this week are the two ICM plants who added 10c/kg to their official quote, bringing them onto €4.75+5c/kg QA. Both Kepak Athleague and Kildare Chilling added 5c/kg to their lamb price, bringing their quotes up to 4.80+5c/kg QA in the case of Kepak with Kildare on €4.80+10c/kg QA.
Dawn Ballyhaunis were unable to offer a quote.
On the cull ewe side, prices rose by 10c/kg with Kepak and the two ICMs yesterday, to €2.60/kg and €2.50/kg, respectively. Kildare Chilling were unchanged at €2.50+10c/kg QA.
John Brooks of the ICSA was upbeat about the overall outlook in the run-up to Christmas when I spoke with him, ahead of his representations to the Green Party to push for proper marketing and returns to sheep farmers for wool.