Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 February 2019

Factories quotes rising despite clean sheep saga


Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

The clean sheep saga continues to rumble on, however it is having no negative effect on prices.

As of yesterday morning prices for hogget were up in the majority of plants by 5-10c/kg, the exception being Moyvalley who remain on a flat €5.00/kg. The effect is that most plants have closed up very sharply on combined base and bonus price of €5.00/kg.

The exception is Dawn Ballyhaunis who at €4.90+5c/kg bonus are just slightly off the pace. Kepak Athleague are on €4.95+5c/kg bonus while Kildare Chilling and the two ICMs are on €4.90+10c/kg.

There is also some movement on the cull ewe side with Kepak Athleague lifting their base to €2.90, while Kildare Chilling was on €2.80+10c/kg QA. All other plants with an interest in the cull ewe trade are static at €2.80/kg.

Prices for lamb/hogget on the ground are reported as having strengthened from last week's €5.00-5.10/kg to €5.15/kg with reports that €5.20/kg was paid where the supplier ticked all the boxes.

And the biggest box to be ticked this week seems to be what constitutes a clean sheep. Department officials seem to have upped the ante yesterday with reports indicating that while a majority of plants were coping with having to clip limited numbers, one plant was reported as almost being at a standstill as numbers into the hundreds were sent by department officials to be clipped.

The language from factory agent's yesterday morning was colourful to say the least.

But while factories seem to have no problem siding in private with the farming community on this issue, they are saying little in public.

Also Read

This clean sheep question has to some degree gotten out of hand in that there is no emphasis on how many sheep are going through the system without difficulties. One factory buyer told me that out of nearly 2,000 sheep due to be presented yesterday up to 1pm, at that point 20 or 1pc had been sent home.

The IFA have been highly critical of the disruption caused by this more rigorous implementation of department regulations.

And John Brooks of the ICSA claimed that "changing the rules midway through the winter period without consultation and without a proper strategy is just reckless.

"We need Teagasc, Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture along with sheep farmers and meat factories working together to find solutions.

"But this must be done well in advance of the winter finishing period. Simply screwing farmers with deductions is no solution."


1 Castleblayney

There was a good turnout of sheep with fat ewes selling from €40/hd for 44kgs to a top of €125.50/hd for 98kgs. Ewe lambs from 33-52kgs sold from €71-103/hd with that top price being paid for a nice batch of 45kg ewes. A selection of ram lambs sold from €79.50-100/hd at weights from 36-44kgs. Springing ewes made from €100-116/hd.

2 Ballymote

Trade was similar to recent weeks but numbers were down. Lots under 40kgs sold from €20-50/hd over the €/kg with those in the 40-45kg bracket seeing prices of €35-56/hd over their weight. Heavier lambs sold to a top of €66/hd with the €/kg. Among the breeding sheep ewes with lambs at foot saw singles make €125/hd while ewes with twins in tow hit €248/hd. In lamb hoggets carrying singles made up to €140/hd. Cull ewes sold from €70-112/hd.

3 Raphoe

There was a good show of sheep here and Ann Harkin commented that the excellence of the trade was down to plenty of farmer and factory interest. Ewe hoggets made from €91/hd for 36kgs to €119/hd for 55kgs. Prices for ewes with lambs at foot ranged from €140-190/hd for those with a single lamb at foot to €150-220/hd for those with doubles. Cull ewes sold from 460-129/hd.

4 Fermoy

Trade here yesterday was reported as being "excellent" with prices trending upwards. Butchers' lambs sold from €110-132/hd with that top price being given for a batch of 10 who weighted 52kgs. Store/factory lambs made from €72-111/hd with the top price going for a batch of five hoggets weighing 45.6kgs. Cast ewes made from €32-122/hd.

5 Kilkenny

George Candler reported an improvement in prices yesterday as supplies in the Kilkenny region remain tight. Butchers hoggets peaked at €127/hd as given for 54kgs having worked off of a €112/hd base. Factory lamb/hogget saw prices range from €102/hd for 44kgs to 54kgs at €127/hd, breeding ewes sold from €100-130/hd.

6 Baltinglass

There was a good selection of store and heavier ewes and an improved trade with a top of €117.50/hd achieved for 58kg lambs/hogget. Among the more store types, 25-34kgs sold from €54-75/hd with 38kgs making €78/hd.

For Stories Like This and More
Download the FarmIreland App

Indo Farming