Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Lamb trade: Factories putting the squeeze on lamb quotes

3/6/2017. Dowra Mart Sheep. Photo Brian Farrell
3/6/2017. Dowra Mart Sheep. Photo Brian Farrell
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

THE factories have started to squeeze prices with the news yesterday that they were either pulling their quotes for spring lamb by 30c-40c/kg or were not in a position to quote.

Kepak Athleague is 35c/kg back on last week’s price at €5.75/kg+10c/kg bonus with their agent telling me that price was for “today only.”

Dawn Ballyhaunis come in 30c/kg less at €5.70/kg for spring lamb while at the bottom of the pile yesterday are the two ICM plants who are quoting 40c/kg off their price for springs from last week. Kildare Chilling would not quote.

The story on hoggets is of a 15-20c/kg price pull with prices dropping from a top last week of €5.15+bonus at Kepak to their €5.00+bonus this week.

Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICM plants drop in unison from last week’s €5.00/kg to €4.80/kg this week, with the ICM plants offering a 10c bonus.

Kildare Chilling are 10c/kg above the Ballyhaunis and ICM prices at €4.90+bonuses, but they too are 20c/kg back on their price of €5.10/kg+ bonus from last week.

The story on cull ewes is that Kildare Chilling remain top of the pile with an unchanged quote from last week of €2.60+10c/kg bonus.

However they have in effect been joined at the top of the leader board by Kepak Athleague who lift their quote from last week by 10c/kg this week to match Kildare’s €2.60.

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The two ICMs and Dawn Ballyhaunis are obviously finding the going tougher as they drop off the pace by 20c/kg following their decision to drop their quotes for cull ewes by 10c/kg yesterday to €2.40/kg.


As this is a short week due to the Bank holiday, I am inclined to think the factory bosses may have decided to get their retaliation on price in first so to speak.

They may have decided that with numbers adequate for a shorter week the time had come to chance pulling the price on farmers.

Balance this against the report from Jim Bush of New Ross mart yesterday morning who told me that his sale for spring lamb and hogget “was on fire”.

“Heavy hogget and lamb were very dear,” he said, as 51-56kg spring lamb made from €135-142/hd while 58kg hogget hit €150/hd.

Lighter lamb were a little easier at €126/hd for 45-46kgs, with factory types in the 40-41kg bracket selling from €100-110/hd.

“Sheep may not be as plentiful as people think” was Jim’s verdict.

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