Ringside: Trade steadies as lamb supplies begin to tighten



The best that can be said about factory lamb prices this week is that not all factories chose to reduce their official quotes.

Holding steady yesterday morning at last week’s price were Kepak Athleague and Moyvalley, while the two ICMs, Dawn Ballyhaunis and Kildare Chilling slipped back 10c/kg.

The top quote of €4.90/kg comes from Kepak and Moyvalley, with the two ICMs and Kildare on €4.80+10c/kg bonus payment that leaves Dawn Ballyhaunis just off the pace on a straight €4.80/kg.

On the cull ewe side, Kildare Chilling hold on to the top spot despite dropping their quote for ewes by 10c/kg to €2.70+10c/kg quality assurance. ICM held their quote for culls yesterday morning at €2.70/kg, while both Kepak and Dawn fell back 10c/kg to €2.60/kg.

IFA National sheep committee chairman Sean Dennehy said the lamb trade had steadied this week with factories paying €5.00/kg.

He said supplies were tighter and the main issue has been under-finished lambs.

He added that some plants are attempting to take advantage of the drought conditions and going too severe on price cuts for underweight lambs.

He added that the UK market is returning £4.40/kg, which is equivalent to €5.20/kg including VAT.

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John Brooks of ICSA said prices including bonuses of €5.10/kg were being negotiated for lamb.

“The worst of last week was around the €4.80/kg mark but this morning (Monday), sheep farmers will get €5.00 and €5.10/kg when you add back the bonuses,” he said.

On the fall in cull ewe prices, Mr Brooks agreed that there appeared to be a lot of ewes going into the factories, some of which he claimed were of good quality and could very well be missed out of the system come next spring.

“Maybe it’s the weather or bills that need paying, but some of these ewes are prime breeders which means they will not be there to lamb next year,” he added.

General ewe prices range from €2.80-2.90/kg.

Bord Bia figures for the year to date show that the number of cast ewes and rams going through the factory system to the middle of July of this year is up a whopping 21.5pc or 42,373 to 239,560.

Meanwhile, lamb slaughterings are down 2.5pc or 31,289 to 1,218,928. All of which would appear to add weight to Mr Brooks’ assertion that there is potential in the system for next year’s lamb crop to be less.

On the mart front, the general consensus is that the trade has strengthened in the last week with many marts reporting more interest and prices edging upwards.

Indo Farming

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