Lamb Prices: Hint of brighter times ahead as prices level off
The word from the factories is that trade has steadied.
This week's prices are more or less a mirror image of where we were last week, with factory quotes excluding various bonuses running from €4.50-4.70/kg for lamb.
In among the figures is a little nugget that may indicate positive times to come, Dawn Ballyhaunis yesterday added a bonus figure of 5c/kg to their official quote of €4.50/kg.
While it doesn't pull them out of last position, it shows that the Mayo factory is intent on keeping some pressure on their local opposition.
That opposition regionally is Kepak Athleague, who maintain their price at last week's level of €4.65+5c/kg bonus.
Moyvalley Meats were quoting an uncomplicated €4.70/kg for lamb yesterday morning.
Moving back down the table, we find the ICM heavy hitters who control over 40pc of the sheep kill and whose influence on the overall price would not want to be underestimated.
That size of kill continues to enable them to sustain their business even as they lag 10c/kg behind both Kepak and Kildare at €4.50+10c/kg.
Trade for ewes is equally steady, with all the factories in the ewe game quoting a base of €2.40/kg as per the table below.
Both Kildare and Kepak pay additional 10c and 5c/kg quality bonuses respectively.
IFA national sheep committee chairman John Lynskey said that lambs are a bit tighter at the factories this week - and with sterling back at 88p/€, the influx and influence of Northern lamb imports will be less.
He said factories are looking for stock and paying from €4.70 to €4.80/kg with top-ups for groups and larger lots.
Mr Lynskey said lamb prices in the UK according to the ADHB are reported at £4.04/kg for the week ending September 16, which is the equivalent of €4.83/kg.
He said the change in sterling back to around 88p/€ has made a significant difference.
He said this should also slow down imports from Northern Ireland into the factories in the south.
It's debatable whether it will slow down the flow of lamb south with the Livestock and Meat Commission on Northern Ireland reporting in their newsletter this month that exports to the Republic for the second week of September were running ahead of the same week in 2016 by 1,213 at 7,672 versus 6,459.
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