THE factory price cutting goes on in the sheep trade with Kildare Chilling and Moyvalley Meats both reducing their official quotes for lamb.
In the case of Kildare Chilling that’s down 10c/kg to €4.90+10c/kg quality assurance, while Moyvalley Meats falls 20c/kg to €4.70/kg.
Both ICM plants, Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis leave their quotes for lamb unchanged from last week, at €4.80 plus bonus of 10c/kg in the case of the two ICMs, that’s €4.90 plus 5c/kg bonus for Kepak and a straight €4.80/kg for Dawn.
It’s been downhill all the way since the week of June 13, when official quotes ran from €5.80/kg plus bonuses to €6.00/kg plus bonuses. Leaving the 5-10c/kg bonuses out of it and sheep farmers are looking at a minimum price fall of between €1.00-1.20/kg in eight weeks or from €21.50-25.80/hd on a 21.5kg carcase.
Despite the latest price pull John Brooks of ICSA is optimistic that we may be seeing the bottom of the current price cycle.
“I’m not saying prices will rise but I can see them staying around the €5.00/kg mark for a while as shipping and the overall Ramadan effect will hold things steady,” he said.
To be fair prices last week did not dip below that €5.00/kg mark so we shall see how this plays out.
Ewe prices remain unchanged again this week with official quotes continuing to run from €2.65/kg plus 5c/kg bonus at Kepak, to €2.70/kg plus 10c/kg bonus in Kildare, with the two ICM plants both on €2.70/kg.
Prices on the ground for cull ewes are reported to be running from €2.80-2.90/kg with some talk of €3.00 possible.
Some cull ewes might be held in retention as farmers maintain numbers to comply with the €10/hd ewe scheme.
For the present however, the word most commonly used by mart managers is that prices are holding “steady”. Although as Ivan Moffitt of Manorhamilton said: “It takes a really good lamb to cross the line at €100/hd”.
Looking at the broader picture, the Department of Agriculture’s census taken last December showed there were 3.92 million sheep in the country — up 4pc from 2015.
Although overall flock size was only marginally up on 2015 at 108/hd. The stand out figure is that 3.92m which puts us within touching distance of the 2005 peak of four million.
1 MAAM CROSS
STORE lambs were “broadly” making €2.00/kg said manager Eoin Burke. He considered those of average quality to be back about €5/hd. Mountain stores were reported as harder sold with prices dipping as low as €28/hd but with averages in the €30-35/hd range. Mountain ewes for breeding sold from €40-60/hd.
RECENT factory price pulls have not helped the mart trade for lamb with Ivan Moffitt reckoning that €10/hd has been wiped off the price of factory lamb in the last three weeks. While he had 47-48kg lamb that made €110/hd he said “it takes a really good lamb now to cross the line at €100/hd”. Heavy butcher type sheep made up to €113/hd for 50kg.
TRADE was“steady” with factory lamb making from €90-108/hd. Well presented Suffolk ewes lambs went for €85-110/hd. Store wether and ram lambs sold from €70-85/hd with lighter mountain types making €45-70/hd. Heavy cull ewes made from €80-110/hd with store ewes selling at €40-70/hd. Hoggets hit a top of €170/hd off a €140/hd base with lighter pens making from €100-140/hd.
SPRING lamb prices averaged €85/hd with the top of the market seeing €124/hd stags averaged €73/hd to a top of €120/hd. Hogget prices averaged €108/hd with the top of the breeders fetching €162/hd while among the breeding ewes prices averaged €147/hd with the top price being €165/hd. Ewes with lambs at foot made €140/hd.
WITH over 2,000 sheep on offer trade was steady with store trade prices up €2-3/hd. Forward 40kg+ stores sold from €86-97/hd while among the 35-40kg section prices ran in general from €78-85/hd but with some €90/hd also about. Trade for the 28-32kg type was described as “very active” with ram lambs selling for €65-66/hd with nice ewe and wether types making up to €74/hd.
6 NEW ROSS
“SHEEP are a good trade” said auctioneer Jim Bush of yesterday’s sale with butcher type lambs ranging from €108-117/hd with factory lamb seeing prices in general from €105-108/hd. Stores were “lively”, Jim said, with 35kg+ making from €74-90/hd while lighter lambs to go to grass sold from €60-73/hd.
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