'Factories are putting boot into farmers' - Lamb prices slashed by up to €12/hd
When goalkeeper Loris Karius, who had a nightmare in the Champions League final on Saturday, is offloaded by Liverpool, I suspect our sheep factories might queue up to sign him. When it comes to dropping things, they are made for each other.
Official factory quotes from cull ewes to hoggets to spring lamb dropped over the weekend; however, unlike Karius's mistakes, the sharp reduction in prices are premeditated and ruthless. Yesterday's quotes saw the value of spring lamb to the farmer decline by between 40-60c/kg or from €8.40-12.60/hd on a 21kg carcase.
Hogget quotes this week fell by 50c/kg or from €11.50/hd on a 23kg carcase, while cull ewes slipped from 10-30c/kg. To compound this, if you add in last week's reduction, spring lamb is back 60-80c/kg in 14 days.
Dawn Ballyhaunis were not in a position to quote for either lamb, hoggets or ewes yesterday morning. The two ICM plants and Kepak Athleague quoted €2.80/kg for ewes this week, a reduction of 20c/kg on the previous week, while Kildare's quote of €2.90c/kg plus 10c/kg for the quality assurance bonus is 10c/kg less than last week.
On the hogget front, Dawn were joined by Kepak Athleague yesterday in not quoting, while Kildare dropped their quote to €5.40+10c/kg bonus. The two ICMs are at €5.50+10c/kg bonus - a 50c/kg fall on last week's base of €6.00/kg.
Moving to the spring lamb, the two ICMs, Kepak, and Kildare all on an official base of €6.20/kg, with Kildare and the ICMs adding 10c/kg in their various quality payment schemes. Also back 50c/kg on lamb is Moyvalley meats at €6.30/kg.
On the mart front, prices moved back by €2-5/hd for the lighter factory types as last week's tightening in factory prices was passed on. Returns from marts such as Kilkenny's Monday morning sale showed that €2-5/hd fall for lamb had morphed into an €8-12/hd cut.
The farm organisations have not been slow in lambasting the factories for these sharp price cuts. Sean Dennehy said they are unjustified and irresponsible when the market is strong with Ramadan continuing for another three weeks.