Sheep farmers resist lamb price cuts as supply tightens
The question among those in the know on the ground yesterday was whether the trade was on the point of steadying up.
Two factories, Kepak Athleague and Kildare Chilling, both dropped their quotes for lamb this week by 5c/kg. Kepak also shaved 10c/kg off their cull ewe price, while Kildare decreased their quote for cull ewe by 5c/kg.
However, some believe it is more significant that both Dawn and the ICM group chose to hold their prices at last week's levels for both lamb and cull ewes.
John Brooks of ICSA believes that while factories were trying to buy lambs for a cheaper price over the weekend, resistance to any further price cuts won out in most cases. "Numbers at factories are starting to tighten," Mr Brooks said.
The two ICMs and Dawn Ballyhaunis leave their prices unchanged at last week's levels of €4.50+10QA (Quality Assurance) that still leaves them as the lowest payers on our table.
Just 5c/kg above them is Kepak Athleague and their offering of €4.55+5c/kg QA, with Kildare Chilling another 5c/kg above that again at €4.60+10c/kg QA.
Prices for cull ewes, so long a stable feature of this year's factory trade, also saw Kepak and Kildare wielding the knife to their quotes on Monday morning.
Kepak sliced their quote by 10c/kg to a straight €2.40/kg, while Kildare eased their quote for ewes 5c/kg lower to €2.50+10c/kg QA.