Factories back to a unified line on lamb quotes
Official quotes for lamb were easier at some plants yesterday by 5-10c/kg as factories continued to take their combined feet off the price accelerator.
After the two ICM plants pulled their base quote for lamb to €5.00/+10c/kg last week, Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kepak Athleague followed suit with the country's largest processor of sheep yesterday.
This means at €5.00+10c/kg, Dawn are back 5c/kg on last week while Kepak's decision to drop to €5.00/kg+15c/kg sees them take 10c/kg off their quote. Moyvalley Meats top our table with an offering of €5.40/kg while Kildare Chilling were unavailable to quote yesterday.
Many plants have in effect written off two days kill a week in recent times, being happy that they can fill their orders with just three days.
It could be argued that this is to do with numbers, with Bord Bia showing that 303,863 lambs were slaughtered in the Republic up to February 23 as opposed to 343,408 for the same period in 2018.
The problem with that assumption is that you could just as easily arrive at that lower figure by dropping a few days kill as opposed to not being able to source them. With the lamb kill back 39,545 and the cast ewe kill running almost parallel to last year at 64,897, I'm inclined to believe that factories are managing the market very carefully.
There had been rumblings of discontent from some that factories were considering dropping weight limits. However, it now appears that those who were paying to 23.5kg will still do so, just as long as they are reminded before the deal is done.
The reduction in factory sheep numbers is not restricted to the Republic.