'Slow torture' as prices cut 5-10c/kg
I would need Seamus Heaney's command of the English language to portray the sheer annoyance amongst sheep farmers about the continuous downward pressure on quotes and prices.
Only six weeks ago all plants were quoting 500c/kg with one of them on 510c/kg, but today it is a base quote of 450c/kg across the board apart from the all-in 460c/kg from Moyvalley.
One farmer remarked that the continual cutting of prices was like a slow form of torture.
The latest quotes equate to a loss of €10/lamb in just six weeks. This is regrettable coming as it does at the most critical time of the year for the sheep sector. At breeding time it is imperative that there is a reasonably good and positive mood amongst sheep farmers in order for the maximum amount of ewes to be put to the ram.
The current lamb quotes are definitely testing their resolve, given that they are running some 20c/kg below the corresponding week last year.
The two Kepaks, and Dawn Ballyhaunis have dropped their base by 10c/kg and 5c/kg respectively to join both ICM plants at 450c/kg plus the bonus.
Kildare are also on a base of 450c/kg but have the QA bonus of 5c/kg on top of the U grade bonus.
Similar to the lambs, almost all of the plants are singing off the one hymn sheet for the cull ewes. Both ICMs, the Kepaks and Dawn Ballyhaunis are offering 180c/kg, which for the ICMs represents a drop of 10c/kg. Kildare have retained the status quo of 190c/kg while Moyvalley are not quoting.