Factories: Optimists dealt a blow as lamb prices hold
The optimism of a month ago when those with lambs to sell were convinced that with Easter in the offing and Ramadan to follow prices for lamb and hogget must surely improve were dealt another blow yesterday morning as quotes remained yet again static.
A month ago, the quotes for spring lamb ranged €6.30-6.50/kg, with hoggets on €5.30-5.50/kg, while cull ewes ranged from €2.70-2.90/kg. Yesterday lambs on our price table were on quotes of €6.00-6.50/kg, with hoggets quoted from €5.00-5.50/kg. Cull ewes range from €2.70-2.80/kg.
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Sean McNamara of ICSA noted that while prices on the ground have remained static at a top of €5.50/kg for hogget and €6.50/kg for lamb, issues around weight are coming to the fore.
"ICM Navan have put up the weight limit for lambs from 20-20.5kg. However, they have pulled the weight limit for hogget from 23kg to 22kg".
The Lord giveth and the lord taketh away; and then some.
IFA's Sean Dennehy claimed that there is strong factory demand for spring lamb. "Factories paying €6.50/kg up to 21kg on lambs, while €5.50/kg is being paid for hogget," Mr Dennehy said. Cull ewe prices are operating around the €2.80/kg mark, with some reports of more on offer.
The recently released EU short term outlook for red meat report shows that in the sheep and goat sector production has continued to decline in the EU during 2018.
"Lower lamb production in Northern Europe as a consequence of difficult production conditions early in the year impacted supplies.