Factories lop €5-10c/kg off their offers for both lamb and hogget
Lamb quotes eased back yesterday with factory representatives telling the Farming Independent there was pressure on to reduce prices.
However, farm leaders urged farmers to resist any such moves.
Sean McNamara of the ICSA insisted that the market is buoyant and “any moves to slip prices are unwarranted”.
The IFA’s Kevin Comiskey added: “We are approaching the end of hogget supplies and spring lamb numbers are increasing, but still remain below last year’s levels.
“Hoggets are trading between €7.20/kg and €7.50/kg, with factories still trying to buy spring lamb between €8.20/kg and €8.50/kg to 21kg.
“Cull ewes are in very strong demand with top prices of €4.20/kg paid.”
Looking to the future and beyond the Eid al-Adha festival on July 9 Mr Comiskey said: “Strong market returns from factories for spring lamb over the coming weeks will be critical to offset input costs and maintain confidence in the sector in advance of the store lamb trade later in the year.
“Hill sheep farmers depend on the store trade and it is critical that factories provide reassurance to farmers who ordinarily buy these lambs by way of minimum price guarantees for the end of this year and early next year.”
In the here and now, though, factories tested the water as they dropped quotes for springs by 5-10c/kg and hogget by 10c/kg, gambling on bigger mart sales over the bank holiday.
There might also be more sheep coming direct this week as farmers availed themselves of extra holiday labour over the weekend to draft sheep.
Dawn Ballyhaunis are back 5c/kg to €7.90+10c/kg quality assurance, as are the two Irish Country Meats plants.
Kildare Chilling fall back 10c/kg to €8.00+10c/kg QA, but hold their quote for hogget at €7.20+10QA, while Dawn slips 10c/kg to €6.90+10c/kg.
The ICMs offered no official guidance on hogget prices as they concentrate on springs while Kepak Athleague continues to decline to give quotes to our price table.
Factory quotes for cull ewes remain unchanged.
On the mart side, yesterday’s sales had increased numbers, with the trade buoyant everywhere.
Jim Bushe of New Ross said there was “no shortage of appetite for stock” at any level as lambs sold to €174/hd for butcher types, while 104kg cull ewes averaged €228/hd.
On the breeding side there was also no lack of interest, and no want for money either, as ewe hoggets with singles and doubles at foot sold to tops of €260 and €350/unit.
There were 500 sheep on offer here, with Nelius McAuliffe reporting the vast majority as lambs plus a small show of culls.
Samples among the lambs included 42kgs at €158/hd, 41kgs at €155/hd and 44kgs selling to €166/hd. The top call of €174/hd went to a batch at 46.5/kg.
Culls made €80-150/hd.
David Faulken also reported a turnout of around 500, with lambs dominating.
Online buying remained “a significant factor” and David he expects numbers to get bigger from here on.
Light 32-33kg stores sold for €114-120/hd, with less-fleshed 40kg stores making €140-148/hd. Better-fleshed 40kgs sold for €155-160/hd, with 45-50kgs €168-173/hd.
A very small show of hoggets peaked at €178hd for 56kgs.
Heavy cull ewes made €190-203/hd, with those around 70kg selling in general to €50/hd with their weight.
The story here was also of springs selling well, fewer hoggets and online buyers helping to put a floor under the trade.
Among the lambs/hoggets, various selections from two to twenty in number, at an average of 52kg, sold from €170-175/hd.
Further down the weights eight 46kg lambs made €146/hd, with four at 40kg averaging €141/hd, while two at 32kg made €120/hd.
Cast ewes sold from €92-175/hd, while a very strong trade for ewes with lambs at foot saw those with twins top out at €365/unit.
Yesterday’s sale was a tidy affair, with just over 200 sheep on offer.
50kgs sold from €170-175/hd with 55kgs making €176/hd while a batch at 51kg averaged €172/hd. Among the lighter lambs 44-47kgs sold from €€164-169/hd.
Cull ewes met a strong trade with the quality of offer lifting prices to €138-190/hd.
There were 1,622 sheep on offer here last week with the trade lively, culminating on the lamb side with 51kgs selling to €186/hd.
46-47kgs topped out at €175-178/hd with the better 44kg lambs making up to €165/hd, while a batch averaging 41kg changed hands at €168/hd.
There were a number of ewe hoggets on offer with all making at least €200/hd, while the sharper ones strode onto €210/hd.
A good trade for ewes with lambs at foot saw those with twins at foot sell to €294/hd.
A bigger sale yesterday saw 600 on offer with trade stronger by around €5/hd.
Top price among the lambs saw eleven at 50kg average €183/hd or €3.66/kg.
A wide selection from 43-45kg made €3.82-3.90/kg or from €166-176/hd.
Yesterday’s sale saw 1,000 sheep on offer with Jim Bushe reporting “no shortage of appetite” for stock.
Factory type lambs made €165-170/hd while butcher types sold for €170-174/hd.
Lighter cull ewes from 70-80kg sold from €100-180/hd with heavier types making €180/hd to €228/hd for 104kgs.
Jim reported an equally strong trade for ewes with lambs at foot. Those with singles sold from €150-250/hd while those with twins in tow made €250-350/hd with hogget ewes the most sought after.