Week eight of price rises sees quotes hit 520c/kg
Saints Patrick, Thomas and Brigid all enjoyed a good weekend and whoever sheep farmers have been praying to is also on form.
The upward trend continues for the eighth consecutive week with a 10-20c/kg improvement to the quotes since last Tuesday.
This sees quotes and prices over the two-month period rise by approximately €1/kg or €23/lamb, bringing it back up on a par to where they were at this time last year.
In fact, Kildare Chilling's base of 520c/kg is 5c/kg ahead of their base 12 months ago. They also have the two 5c/kg bonuses for Quality Assured lambs and the U grades. Dawn Ballyhaunis and Moyvalley are both offering an all-in 520c/kg, while their western neighbour, Kepak Athleague, is quoting 515c/kg plus the 5c/kg for the Us. Both ICM plants are on 510c/kg plus 6c/kg. Kepak Athleague and ICM are talking about quoting €6/kg for new season lambs but with the old season stock closing in on this price it is doubtful that any young lambs will be sold at this price. Carcase weights of 16-20kg are ideal while the lighter types killing out between 9-13kg are making €7.50/kg in Athleague. The IFA's Henry Burns said that factories are having to pay 550-560c/kg to secure stock from tight supplies. He added that the strong lift in the export market combined with the buoyant domestic market and limited supplies were all helping to drive the trade.
The ICM plants lead the way on 250c/kg for the cull ewes. Kepak Athleague and Kildare are quoting 240c/kg while Dawn are offering 235c/kg.
The sheep trade showed further improvement last week according to Bord Bia, as demand for in-spec lamb builds in the lead up to the Easter period. There is also some expectation that supplies will tighten on the domestic market.
Quotes for lambs by the end of the week were making between €5.05-5.10/kg with more reported to be available in some parts of the country. Prices paid for cull ewes also increased with prices quoted around €2.50/kg.
To date this year, sheep supplies are 33pc or 111,900 head higher.