Quotes for cull ewes saw an easing at both Kildare and Kepak with Kildare falling back from last week’s price of €2.70+10c/kg to €2.60+10QA, while Kepak eased by 5c/kg onto €2.65/kg +5c/kg bonus from last week’s €2.70+5QA.
The two ICM plants hold their ground however as they continued to quote €2.70/kg yesterday.
Among the farm organisations the feeling is that with the approach of the Eid festival demand for sheep should increase as the week goes on.
The IFA’s John Lynskey said lamb supplies are tight at the factories this week and predicted that demand “will be very strong later this week and into next week.”
Both the mart trade and live export buying are active, as Mr Lynskey reported live buyers are offering €2.30 to €2.35/kg.
Mr Lynskey also said he had received a lot of complaints and concerns over Northern lambs at the meat plants in recent week.
The Livestock and Meat Commission of Northern Ireland confirmed that 5,627 lambs had been exported across the border to the Republic for direct slaughter for the week ending the 13th of this month.
However, the commission noted that a tightening in supplies and increased competition from the Republic due to a stronger euro has “helped steady the trade.”
Both Mr Lynskey and John Brooks of the ICSA are critical of some factories failure to raise weight limits on lamb to 22kgs.
This is an understandable grievance as who doesn’t want to get paid for as much of what you produce as possible?
On the other side of the fence the factories point to farmers drawing sheep that don’t reach the upper weight limits.
A source from Kildare Chilling said: “We’re killing a lot of lambs at 20kg and we have had some back at 15kg which makes no sense for the farmer or us”.
In regard to those very light lambs the Kildare man speculated that some newer entrants into the business were perhaps still learning the ropes.
THERE was another sizable sale yesterday with lambs from 50- 52kgs selling from €104-111/h. In the 45-48kg category, prices ranged from €102-104/hd, while ewe lambs from 38-44kgs made from €84-94/hd. Cull ewes sold from €66-114/hd, with first crop breeding ewes making from €105- 142/hd. Breeding ewe hoggets saw a top of €199/hd off a €115/ hd base.
PRICES seemed unaffected by the big number at the sale with the better quality store lamb making from €2.10-2.15/kg, while those second string types averaged €2.00/kg. Exporter activity helped under pin the ram lamb trade with 45kgs making €100/hd or €2.22/ kg. Manager Neils McAuliffe described it as the biggest he has seen so far in terms of numbers.
It was a similar story with regard to numbers here, and again there was price improvement in some sections. Among those showing improvement were factory and ewe lambs with 46.8kg ewes hitting €2.35/kg, while 10 ram lams of 51.1kg made €104/hd or €2.03/kg. Store lambs took a hit coming in at between €68-91/hd. On the breeding side hogget ewes ranged from €144-200/hd.
Numbers were a little easier yesterday, which may have as much to do with next week being a breeding show and sale as opposed to any actual fall off in numbers. Lamb prices saw 53- 55kgs make €120-123/kg, with 41-48kgs making between €90- 105/hd. Stores from 35-31kgs sold from €61-67/hd.
Quality ewes and lambs saw their prices improve by €2-4/hd here despite increased numbers, with 44-55kg lambs selling from €100-128/hd while the lighter animal made from €81-98/hd. Suffolk x ewe lambs sold from €110-130/hd with Suffolk X ewes making from €145-170/hd.
THE general sheep trade was described by auctioneer John Gilligan as “firm”. However, exporter activity had a very positive effect on ram lamb prices as they hit a top call of €2.22/kg. Store weights sold from €1.98- 2.30/kg, with factory lamb making from €2.19-2.35/kg. Cull ewes sold off a base of 465/hd to a top of €132/hd. Breeding hoggets made up to €173/hd, while ewe hoggets sold to a high of €132/hd.
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