Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Factory lamb prices hit €4.85/kg as numbers dip

Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

Factory prices in the sheep sector appear to have reached a plateau. Last week saw €4.80/kg as the line in the sand for lamb.

However towards the end of the week reports were emerging of €4.85/kg being paid as numbers dipped. And numbers are where it’s at.

As of yesterday morning that price of €4.85 was not quite fully set as factory bosses waited to see exactly how supply numbers were looking for the week ahead.

While those with lamb to sell spoke of €4.85/kg for the week ahead, those writing the cheque, appear stuck on a tops of €4.80/kg. This then translates into official quotes for lamb that are identical to last week.

With Dawn Ballyhanuais not quoting, the league table for lamb prices continues to see a three way tie at the top with Kepak Athleague, Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley locked together as price leaders all on an all in official quoted price including bonuses of €4.70/kg.

lamb prices.PNG

They are followed as they were last week by the two ICM plants who also remain unchanged at €4.55 plus their.10c/kg bonus bringing their price to €4.65/kg.

On the international front the stability of sterling and its strengthening against the euro is helping underpin the current price situation. In relation to the previous effects of Brexit on sterling, one factory boss made a very telling point of how his plant got through the volatility created by movements in the value of sterling.

 Kildare Chilling appear to have upped the ante in their relationship with their suppliers in relation to their clean sheep policy and they issued a statement yesterday saying that “sheep supplied to the factory must arrive in a clean condition.

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We will have to terminate our relationship if this cannot be guaranteed”.

It’s a surprising statement given that the weather has remained so dry. Ewe prices Moving to ewe prices their prices also remain static, the exception being Kepak Athleagues quote for ewes which is up .10c/kg from €2.30/kg to €2.40/kg.

While official quotes for ewes are what they are John Lyskey of IFA was reporting up to €2.60/kg as being the actual price.

I was very interested then to hear of an ICSA-organised event that may well put more options on the table for those with lamb targeted at the spring market.

The location is the farm of well known sheep man Mervyn Sunderland of Redcross, Co Wicklow at two o’clock tomorrow (Wednesday).

The event will look at fattening lambs on green winter cover crops sown on tillage farms and should be of interest to both sheep and tillage men.

Indo Farming