Farm Ireland

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Three plants drop below the 440c/kg level for lambs


Joe Healy

It is a close call for the least exciting issue at the moment between the factory trade for lambs and our presidential campaign. While the Aras hopefuls travel up and down the country, some of our processors are only thinking 'down' as three of them go below the 440c/kg base for lambs.

Dawn Ballyhaunis and the two ICM plants have dropped by 5c/kg to a base of 435c/kg plus the 6c/kg bonus. The rest appear to be holding firm at last week's levels, with the Kepak plants and Kildare Chilling remaining on the 440c/kg base plus the bonus, which is further topped up in Kildare with its added 5c/kg for quality assured stock. Moyvalley stays top on an all-in 450c/kg.


For farmers who bought store lambs earlier on and are now selling those same lambs, this is both a loss-making scenario and not very encouraging for repeating this exercise in the future. However, despite the few lower quotes, some much higher prices are being negotiated with some finishers securing 455-460c/kg for their lambs this week while some producer groups are getting 465-470c/kg when bonuses are accounted for.

The IFA's James Murphy said that with the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival next month, the trade should remain solid and that last week's move by the factories to get prices down failed and they had to revert to paying 460-465c/kg later on in the week to get lambs.

Kildare is top for the cull ewes with its quote of 265c/kg. The ICMs and Kepak Hacketstown are offering 260c/kg with an unchanged 250c/kg available in the west from Kepak Athleague and Dawn Ballyhaunis. Moyvalley is not quoting.

Bord Bia reported that the sheep trade was largely unchanged for the week as both supply and demand levels were evenly matched. Trade on the domestic market continues to perform reasonably well with a recovery in household consumption. Increased volumes of product from the UK is continuing to hamper trading activity with the French market.

Quotes for spring lambs for most of the week were making up to €4.45kg. The cull trade eased slightly with prices now making €2.50-2.60/kg.

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On a year-to-date basis, sheep supplies are running almost 2pc higher than the corresponding period last year.

In the UK, despite some strengthening in the euro against the pound, trade eased slightly in response to greater volumes of lamb emerging onto the market combined with market demand in France being somewhat subdued. By the weekend, the livemarket prices fell by around 5/c to €4.47/kg for new season lambs.

In France, prices for limited volumes of Irish grade 1 spring lambs were reportedly still making up to €4.68/kg by the end of the week, even though supplies from the UK remain strong with little change in demand reported.

Indo Farming