Lamb Prices: Ramadan effect turns tables on baffled buyers
THE ‘Ramadan effect’ on the Irish sheep trade gradually increased as last week progressed. It was most noticeable at the marts, where some spring lamb lots were pushed into what John Brooks of ICSA calculated as being €6.40/kg dead weight.
Jim Bush of New Ross mart told me factory buyers were so keen, “we were under pressure to keep sheep into them”, while at Raphoe, spring lamb prices broke into €140/hd territory.
That figure of €6.40/kg is 20c/kg ahead of the reported price of €6.20/kg as quoted to many farmers for spring lamb straight off of grass by factory agents.
The story for the hogget is more positive, with €5.20-5.25/kg the accepted jumping-off point, and rumours that those with bigger numbers were pitching them to the factories over the weekend €5.30-5.35/kg.
For the factories’ part, they are maybe a bit like the Tipperary hurlers yesterday morning: trying to figure out how, in a market that was supposed to be well in their favour, over the last week the job has suddenly appeared to be getting away from them.
Prices for spring lamb are up by 10c/kg at Dawn Ballyhaunis, Kepak Athleague, Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley. Kildare just lead the pack on €6.10+10c quality assurance (see table below) from Kepak.
With hoggets, Kepak lead the line with their price of €5.15+6c/kg bonus, which is a 15c/kg lift on last week. That said, it really is nip and tuck between them and Kildare, who also lift their price to €5.10+10c/kg bonus, so at one level the difference is a bare 1c/kg.
While the prices are the prices, it’s worth noting that Kepak are paying to 23kg as opposed to the Kildare price, whose quotes only cover the first 22.5kg.