Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Factory quotes back 30c/kg despite lamb prices being 'as hot as the weather' in some marts

Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

WHILE sheep prices at New Ross mart this week might have been “on fire”, the factories were also intent on doing some burning.

Although all factories quoted less yesterday morning — the general pull on spring lamb prices being in the 10c/kg bracket — Kepak Athleague pushed their quote back 30c/kg to €5.70+5QA.

The reason, according to the factories, is an easing in retail demand with the recently adequate numbers now tipping slightly over into surplus territory.

Quotes for spring lamb were as follows: Moyvalley and Kildare Chilling both drop base prices from last week by 10c/kg to this week’s quote of €5.80/kg, with Kildare topping up quality assured lamb with an additional 10c/kg.

Next Kepak Athleague back that 30c/kg at €5.70+5c/kg QA, they are followed by Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICMs with all three back 10c/kg to €5.70/kg base price.

The majority of factories continue to quote for hogget this week with prices maintained at last week’s levels.

Dawn are on €5.00/kg with Kildare a shade better on €5.00+10QA, while the two ICMs continue on €4.80+10QA.Kepak Athleague had no quote for hogget yesterday morning.

The price of ewes is largely static again this week with Kepak leading the price table on €2.65/kg plus 5c/kg bonus, followed by Kildare on €2.60+10QA bonus.

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Dawn Ballyhaunis drop their quote by 10c/kg for culls to €2.50/kg just as the two ICM plants lift from last week’s quote of €2.50/kg to €2.60/kg.

With price of both hoggets and cull ewes effectively static, except for Dawn’s 10c/kg pull on ewes, it appears factories have no problem slaughtering and paying for what might be described as “second string product” but when it comes to top notch spring lamb market problems appear to arise.

Farm organisations who monitor factory price movements very carefully say market conditions are good with both John Lynskey of IFA and John Brooks of ICSA commenting “the market is strong”.

Both men agree spring lamb is being paid up to €6.10/kg on occasion but with €6.00/kg more common. The situation with cull ewes is that prices from €2.70-2.80/kg are the norm.

Bord Bia reports that trade in the UK “remains steady” with prices for lamb in both England and Wales making the equivalent of €5.59/kg.

Mart Roundup


SHEEP prices were “as hot as the weather,” auctioneer Jim Bush said. Top price for spring lamb hit a very hot €153/hd. “ That’s €100/hd over the weight of those 53kg lambs,” Jim said. The run of prices for butcher’s lambs was from €128-145/hd, lighter factory lamb went from €110-127/hd. Cull ewes were also a good trade with prices in the €115-130/hd bracket.


Ann Harkin reckoned spring lamb to be “up about €2/hd on last week” with a top price of €134/hd for 57kgs, with lambs from 47-53kgs making from €120-129/hd. Prices in the 42-46kg section ranged from €111-120/hd with 38-41kgs making from €95-110. Lighter 33-37kg springs sold from €75-90/hd. Fat ewes made €60-125/hd. Ewes with twins at foot sold from €150-220/hd, while those with singles at foot saw prices from €120-210/hd.


A strong trade for all sheep saw spring lamb up by €3-6/hd with 45-50kgs making from €114-127/hd. Lighter lamb sold from €97-110/hd. Trade for store lambs was lively with prices running from €75-85/hd. Cast ewes sold from €80-105/hd while ewes with lambs at foot made from €150-198/hd.


PRICES for spring lamb ticked along nicely with 41.5-45kgs making from €107.50-121/hd with 47-48kgs on €120-122/hd. Store lambs from 34-38kgs made from €79-82/hd with heavier 40kg lots in the €102/hd bracket. Ewe lambs saw prices from €60-72/hd at weights from 25.6-27.6kgs. Fat ewes sold from €67-97/hd on weights from 56-75kgs with heavy 81-94kg culls making from €110-115/hd.


TRADE was steady with lighter cull ewes making from €50-85/hd while heavier lots made between €100-132/hd. Lighter spring lamb around 30-35kg sold from €34-48 over the €/kg with 35-40kgs making from €50-67 with the €/kg. Heavier 40-45kgs sold from €75-82 with the €/kg, while batches from 45-50kgs made from €76-87 over the €/kg. Above these weights 54kgs sold for €82 over the €/kg or €136/hd.


SPRING lambs were up by €2-3/hd according to manager Ivan Moffitt with butchers pushing heavier types to a top of €140/hd with the lighter 45-46kg factory type averaging around €120/hd.

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