Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Stronger prices as quotes up 5-10c/kg


Joe Healy

Farmers who decided to cease sheep production a couple of years ago must be feeling that their decision matches any of the mistakes made by RTE recently.

As we see factory quotes continue to move back up towards the €5/kg mark, the reality is that, at the risk of repeating myself, it is only the soft seller that is accepting less than €5/kg if and when they are selling.

Some of the plants are reluctant to pay above this level, but others are having to go above it to secure numbers from relatively scarce supplies.

As you will notice from the table attached, an increase of 5-10c/kg is evident across almost all of the plants. The 10c/kg improvement in Kildare pushes it to the top of the leader-board on a quote of 480c/kg plus the 6c/kg and 5c/kg bonuses. This leaves it just ahead of Moyvalley, where a jump of 5c/kg places its all-in quote at 490c/kg, while a similar increase from Kepak Athleague leaves it offering a base of 485c/kg plus the bonus. Thereafter, all of the other processors are quoting 480c/kg plus the bonus. Kepak Athleague is talking about 485c/kg for light lambs for next Thursday also.

IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said that the trade had strengthened again, with factories paying from €5/kg up to a top price of €5.10/kg.

Kildare remains tops for the cull ewes with its quote of 280c/kg. The ICMs, Kepak Haccketstown and Dawn Ballyhaunis are all on 270c/kg, while 260c/kg is being offered in Kepak Athleague. However, farmers are bargaining for, and getting prices of, between €3-3.30/kg.

The sheep trade improved slightly over the past week, according to An Bord Bia, as domestic supplies tightened. Trade is being helped by a strengthening in the British lamb trade.

Quotes for lambs edged upwards to around €4.80kg for most of the week. Similarly, the cull ewe trade showed some minor improvement, with quotes making up to €2.80/kg as tight supplies combined with ongoing strong demand for manufacturing product help to lift trade.

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Sheep supplies to-date are running at similar levels to the corresponding period last year.

In Britain, the trade has strengthened further on the back of some tightening in domestic supplies, combined with some further strengthening in the pound against the euro. By the weekend, live market prices were the equivalent of €5.39/kg including VAT for lambs.

In France, prices for limited volumes of Irish grade 1 lamb were making up to €5.47/kg (inclusive of VAT) by the end of the week, largely on the back of less competitive British lamb supplies.

A comparison of Irish slaughtering figures between last October and this October showed that sheep slaughterings decreased by 4.5pc. Over the period from January to October there was an increase of 0.3pc in sheep slaughterings. Comparing EU figures for the periods January to August this year and January to August last year, Ireland showed a 1.5pc increase in sheep slaughterings while of the major EU sheep producing countries, the United Kingdom, Spain and France recorded increases of 5.5pc, 4.6pc and 3.5pc respectively.

Indo Farming