Steady trade as factory quotes and prices hold

Joe Healy

If only our economy was as steady as the sheep trade, we would all be in a much better place at the moment and probably not fearing the upcoming budget as much as we are. Looking at the glass half full, we can be grateful that, at the very least, there is one sector moving along nicely through 2010.

Lamb quotes are more or less the same as they were this day week. The Kepaks continue to lead the way on a base of 425c/kg plus the bonus. Kildare Chilling's quality assurance bonus of 5c/kg on top of their 420c/kg + 6c/kg leaves them on a similar final figure to the Kepak plants. Thereafter, the two ICMs and Dawn Ballyhaunis are quoting an unchanged 420c/kg plus the 6c/kg for the U grades. Moyvalley are offering an all-in 420c/kg.

Kepak were also quite anxious to point out that the "light" trade for the Mediterranean market is pretty buoyant at the moment and are quoting 425c/kg for any lambs with adequate flesh killing out over 10kgs.

IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that factories were paying well above the quoted figures with 435-445c/kg freely available.

He added that the live export trade continued to be very active at up to €50 over the weight being paid.

Top spot for the cull ewes goes to the ICM plants who are quoting 250c/kg. Kildare and the Kepaks are on 240c/kg, with Dawn Ballyhaunis remaining on a low of 220c/kg. But the good news from Dawn is that they have paid probably the best prices over the past week with as high as 320c/kg reported from there.

According to Bord Bia, supplies for w/e October 16 were back by 1,800hd on the same week in 2009 at 52,500hd. On a year to date basis, supplies remain 13pc lower at just under 1.69m head.

In Britain, trade weakened in response to strengthening supplies. With sterling remaining weak, some further decline in the SQQ mart price was evident. By the end of the week the average new season SQQ live mart price in England and Wales stood at the equivalent of 392c/kg including VAT.

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In France, some recovery was evident as the week progressed. However, due to the strikes, deliveries to the market have become more difficult.

Light lambs will be in demand before all that, with more factories starting to kill them. Prices remain at 400c/kg to 420c/kg for good light lambs.

Meanwhile, lamb prices in NZ have risen to 325c/kg.

In Australia, demand is driving lamb prices to the equivalent of €102/hd in the marts, with the average price at 350c/kg.

Irish Independent

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